23 June 2008

Ernie Pyle could not be reached for comment

Buried in the Media & Advertising section of The New York Times (but unearthed by Mrs G of the Mudville Gazette):

Getting a story on the evening news isn’t easy for any correspondent. And for reporters in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is especially hard, according to Lara Logan, the chief foreign correspondent for CBS News. ...

According to data compiled by Andrew Tyndall, a television consultant who monitors the three network evening newscasts, coverage of Iraq has been “massively scaled back this year.” Almost halfway into 2008, the three newscasts have shown 181 weekday minutes of Iraq coverage, compared with 1,157 minutes for all of 2007. The “CBS Evening News” has devoted the fewest minutes to Iraq, 51, versus 55 minutes on ABC’s “World News” and 74 minutes on “NBC Nightly News.” (The average evening newscast is 22 minutes long.)

CBS News no longer stations a single full-time correspondent in Iraq, where some 150,000 United States troops are deployed.

Ms. Logan tells about working for months to get embedded with a group of Navy SEALs. After she went back to the network with the story, she was told by a CBS producer that “One guy in uniform looks like any other guy in a uniform.”

“If I were to watch the news that you hear here in the United States, I would just blow my brains out because it would drive me nuts.”

Yo, Lara. Welcome to the club.

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