Katie Couric: "So Many of Us Ask, 'Is There Any Way Out of This Nightmare?'"

ABC anchor Charles Gibson and NBC anchor Brian Williams let the Iraq Study Group's conclusion, that “the situation in Iraq is grave and deteriorating,” speak for itself as they refrained from additional editorializing in opening their Wednesday night newscasts. But CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric inserted her personal views into the top of her newscast as she framed the day's news: “With each death, with every passing day, so many of us ask, 'Is there any way out of this nightmare?'” She proceeded to explain how “today we got an answer from a bipartisan commission headed by former Secretary of State James Baker and former Congressman Lee Hamilton.” All three December 6 broadcast network evening shows were anchored from Washington, DC.

Couric's lead in full, following her opening teases of upcoming stories:
“Hi, everyone. The U.S. military confirms that ten more American soldiers were killed in Iraq today, some in combat, others by roadside bombs. With each death, with every passing day, so many of us ask, 'Is there any way out of this nightmare?' Today we got an answer from a bipartisan commission headed by former Secretary of State James Baker and former Congressman Lee Hamilton. The so-called Iraq Study Group has 79 recommendation it says will not guarantee success in Iraq, but will at least improve the chances.”
ABC's Charles Gibson began World News:
“Good evening. The Iraq Study Group, working for nine months now to find a new approach to the war in Iraq, issued its report today. There were 79 recommendations for a change in course. But the report also read a bit like a report card on the Bush administration's conduct of the war. And the marks were not good. We will cover all aspects of the report tonight, but we start with the very blunt assessment of the war and the conditions in Iraq right now, as presented by the group's Co-Chairmen, former Secretary of State James Baker and former Congressman Lee Hamilton.”

Lee Hamilton: “The situation in Iraq is grave and deteriorating...”
Brian Williams opened the NBC Nightly News:
“Good evening. Behind us here in Washington today ten prominent Americans appeared before reporters after working for nine months on a plan for the U.S. in Iraq. Between them they have hundreds of years of government experience, Republicans and Democrats who today delivered a blunt, bipartisan and grim assessment. Tonight from Washington our coverage of the report. Also the reaction to it here and in the Arab world. Tonight we will have my interview with the Chairmen of the Iraq Study Group, a conversation that took place just minutes after we learned that ten more Americans were killed in Iraq just today. That means the death toll so far in December is now 28. While the work of the commission is done and the report is now in bookstores, all eyes are focused now across town from here: The White House and the President who has steadfastly defended this increasingly unpopular war. We have this day covered here tonight, beginning with our chief White House correspondent David Gregory.”
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center