Lights, Camera, Bombing

baghdad_smoke.jpgJohn Robb is, as usual, a must-read today. Here's his take on the series of bombings in Baghdad.

The entire event was staged for the benefit for the western reporters who have become virtual prisoners of their hotel rooms in Baghdad (since they couldn't go to the war, the guerrillas brought the war to them). The incident was in clear view of the AP's mounted video camera (which recorded the entire event) -- footage that will be endlessly replayed in newsrooms across the globe...The effect desired from this highly orchestrated to radically magnify the menace, uncertainty, and mistrust (all of which are aspects of moral conflict) of those in the media. It was also intended to bring those same feelings, by extension, to the public the reporters represent. As an example of tactical innovation by Iraq's open source insurgency, it was brilliant (unfortunately for us). It will set the expectations of the media -- re: this conflict -- for months.
THERE'S MORE: "The more I think about this place and yesterdays attack on the Palestine/Sheraton compound, the more I feel that its time to leave here and that Im a coward for thinking that," confesses Defense Tech hero Chris Allbritton, who's spent years reporting from Iraq. "I dont want to desert this story. I dont want to let my friends down. I dont want to leave my staff, who have bravely stuck by us and who cant leave like I can. But I also dont want to die for this story."
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