Filmmaker Michael Tucker spent two months with the 2/3 Field Artillery unit, otherwise known as “The Gunners.” The film he made, Gunner Palace: Some Stories Will Never Make the Nightly News, detailed a troop unit stationed in a former palace of Uday Hussein (nicknamed Gunner Palace).
In May Tucker was invited by the Directors Guild of America to screen parts of the flick along with other films dealing with the war. Also included, according to the documentary’s website, were “clips from Iraq themed episodes of ‘JAG’ and ‘ER’ and the first episode of Steven Bochco's ‘Over There,’” an FX Network series dealing with the fictional lives of troops in Iraq.
NewsBusters interviewed Tucker about the general perception of what’s happening in Iraq and the behavior of NBC’s Matt Lauer, who was skeptical when troops in Iraq told the anchor their morale was high.
"What would you say to those people who are doubtful that morale could be that high?"
Captain Sherman Powell responded indignantly, “Well sir, I'd tell you, if I got my news from the newspapers also I'd be pretty depressed as well."
Said Tucker, “I applaud the soldier for telling it like it is.”
“There are going to be good days and there are going to be bad days. Matt Lauer should hang out for a week or two in and live in their shoes, then I think he will be better equipped to tell the story.”
When he first arrived in Iraq, Tucker said he had to abandon all preconceptions.
“I'd say that you can't walk into a setting like Iraq and deliver reports based on preconceptions. When we did Gunner Palace, I checked all my preconceptions at the gate and forced myself to open my mind. The reality in Iraq is painted in grays and it can't be told in a simple palette.”