Wednesday, July 16, 2003


Ah...a nap and some food...I'm better now. It occurred to me that I write very little here about my "job". I don't like to come home and fixate on what I did at work. I'm pretty good at leaving it at the office. I don't want to write news all day and then come and write about writing news.

Today however I am still thinking about this ABC story quoting U.S. soldiers in Iraq disparaging their role, and sounding very critical of the White House and the war.

I didn't run this story this morning on WOAI. I saw it. I had access to the audio, but I opted against airing it. It's an editor's prerogative, one I often use, but usually it's because I think a story is boring. I opted not to run this story today because it made vast generalizations. It said that members of the 3rd Infantry division in Iraq were disillusioned and morale was slipping. What it didn't say was how many members of the 3rd Infantry Division were adopting this woeful attitude. Instead the story, by Canadian reporter Jeffrey Kofman, was presented in a manner that implied ALL members of the 3rd infantry division had suddenly lost all faith in their leadership.

The 3rd Infantry Division deployed 16,500 troops to Iraq. To my knowledge, Kofman spoke to five soldiers.

Are soldiers who learned they're not going home as scheduled disappointed? Yes.
Is it fair to air a story implying U.S. troops are losing faith in their Commanders because of the remarks made by five soldiers? From an editorial viewpoint, I didn't think so.

But I'm not ABC.