Monday, March 05, 2007

The Glorious TV News Anchors

I was still new to America when I got to meet Walter Cronkite at the Dallas Press Club Katie Awards reception in Dallas. I didn't know who he was. So I kept eating my dinner while he talked to the audience. I wouldn't have acted differently if I knew who he was. Food comes first. TV folks come last.

When I checked the news yesterday morning, I noticed an entry by Brian Williams on MSNBC regarding his visit to Iraq. I didn't care much until I sensed the "Oh look at me. I'm so brave."

It's my understanding the news folks have a responsibility to tell their readers or audience the real story, whether they report a town hall meeting or the war in Iraq. I certainly expect more when the TV news anchor is paid $4,000,000/yr.

Then I reached this part of his entry:

I'd be lying to say that the wounds suffered by my friends Bob Woodruff and Kimberly Dozier didn't weigh heavily on my mind. My own family has been profoundly affected by Bob's ordeal -- and it will stay with us and help guide our actions. I saw both Bob and Kimberly just days ago, and we intentionally delayed our trip so as not to conflict with Bob's documentary last week and the launch of the book that he and his wife Lee have written.

Does Brian really think people pay attention to such things? People usually watch one of the three evening news programs, and they rarely change their preferences. I watch World News with Charles Gibson. Gibson's style and reporting works for me. But today, I decided to check Brian's broadcast from Iraq. As I expected, he broadcast from a U.S. Army base.

As an Iraqi-expat, I'd like to see Brian report the hardships facing the ordinary Iraqi people, who live outside the green zone. I'd like him to spend some time with an Iraqi family. I'd like him to visit an Iraqi hospital. I'd like him to ask a few Iraqi children how do they cope with the daily violence around them.

American people need to see the big picture, NOT the protected narrow view. This war isn't only about the American Army. It's about the Iraqi people too. If Brian and others don't report stories told by the Iraqi people themselves, then they may as well stay warm and safe in New York.

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