TV writer Bill Carter reports on the deaths of two CBS news crewmen while following a U.S. patrol in Iraq -- "Deaths of 2 in CBS Crew Lead to Painful Reassessments." CBS correspondent Kimberly Dozier remains in intensive care.
"The roadside blast in Baghdad on Monday that killed two CBS News crew members and seriously wounded a third has deepened concerns among television network executives about the risks their crews face trying to cover the Iraq war, some arguing that television reporters may be even more exposed than those in print journalism."
Near the end, Carter lets two news executives take some timely blasts at conservatives, and radio host Laura Ingraham in particular:
"Several executives said criticism by conservative commentators that the networks were playing it safe and not trying to cover the full story of Iraq was unjust -- and offensive.
"'One thing I don't want to hear anymore,' [NBC News President Steve] Capus said, 'is people like Laura Ingraham spewing about us not leaving our balconies in the Green Zone to cover what's really happening in Iraq.' Ms. Ingraham made that comment on the 'Today' news program on NBC.
"[Managing director for CNN International Chris] Cramer said that when played against the injury to Ms. Dozier and the deaths of her colleagues, 'for people to criticize what we do is just monstrous.'"
So, the press is beyond criticism? Professor Cori Dauber thinks the press has some explaining to do to its viewers:
"My problem is -- has always been -- that no one is being honest about the work-arounds being used by the networks to deal with the security issues or about the limitations imposed on the reporting. Yes, the situation is unsafe, and reporters are at risk when they go out to report, but don't leave people with the impression that the network crews are taking those risks every single day, because that's simply a lie.
"Again, to be clear, it has never been my position that reporters should go out if they feel the risk would be too great, but tell people that there are many days when rather than go out they are buying footage from wire services and doing the editing from inside the hotel. That isn't even in the Times article."
Brian Montopoli at the CBS News "Public Eye" blog goes just as over the top in defense of reporters, quoting insults by the left-wingers Daily Kos and Al Franken and claiming:
"Members of the press corps in Iraq are risking their lives trying to bring the story of the war to Americans, and the trivialization of those efforts strikes me as offensive. War reporters deserve our respect and admiration, but some in the conservative media criticism echo chamber have seen fit to slander them in order to argue that the situation in Iraq is far better than it appears. They take metaphorical shots at the messengers as the messengers do their jobs among very real bullets."
For more examples of New York Times bias, visit TimesWatch.