Friday, March 30, 2007

McCain's Iraq Disconnect

Last week, I talked with NBC's Richard Engel about how tough it is for reporters to do their job in Baghdad because it's so dangerous for Americans to even walk the streets. Now Lew Irwin reports in Studio Briefing:

TV news correspondents in Baghdad were at odds Thursday with Arizona Senator John McCain over his assertion that the news media are misrepresenting the effectiveness of the so-called surge in Iraq. "There are neighborhoods in Baghdad where you and I could walk through those neighborhoods today. The U.S. is beginning to succeed in Iraq," McCain had said on a radio show hosted by former drug czar William Bennett. On CNN, Baghdad correspondent Michael Ware remarked, "To suggest that there's any neighborhood in this city where an American can walk freely is beyond ludicrous. ... I don't know what part of Neverland Senator McCain is talking about when he says we can go strolling in Baghdad." On the CBSNews.com website, Allen Pizzey, the CBS correspondent in Baghdad, wrote: "No one in their right mind goes on the streets here without security. ... For Senator McCain to claim there are places here where all is well is to woefully minimize the dangers faced by the troops he otherwise so admirably supports. ... Any time Senator McCain wants to walk the streets of Baghdad, unarmed and without a serious security detail, we'd be glad to lend him a camera so he can record his experience."