Lara Logan, CBS news correspondent, responding to a GOP talking point regurgitated by Howard "Time Warner/Washington Post" Kurst, summed it up well:
KURTZ: But critics would say, well, no wonder people back home think things are falling apart because we get this steady drumbeat of negativity from the correspondents there.
LOGAN: Well, who says things aren't falling apart in Iraq? I mean, what you didn't see on your screens this week was all the unidentified bodies that have been turning up, all the allegations here of militias that are really controlling the security forces.
What about all the American soldiers that died this week that you didn't see on our screens? I mean, we've reported on reconstruction stories over and over again…I mean, I really resent the fact that people say that we're not reflecting the true picture here. That's totally unfair and it's really unfounded.
...Our own editors back in New York are asking us the same things. They read the same comments. You know, are there positive stories? Can't you find them? You don't think that I haven't been to the U.S. military and the State Department and the embassy and asked them over and over again, let's see the good stories, show us some of the good things that are going on? Oh, sorry, we can't take to you that school project, because if you put that on TV, they're going to be attacked about, the teachers are going to be killed, the children might be victims of attack.
I mean, security dominates every single thing that happens in this country….So how it is that security issues should not then dominate the media coverage coming out of here?
On conservative radio host Laura Ingraham's recent statement that journalists need to do less "reporting from hotel balconies" in Iraq, LOGAN said: I think it's outrageous. I mean, Laura Ingraham should come to Iraq and not be talking about what journalists are doing from the comfort of her studio in the United States, the comfort and the safety. I mean, I don't know any journalist that wants to just sit in a hotel room in Iraq. Does anybody understand that for us we used to be able to drive to Ramadi, we used to drive to Falluja, we used to drive to Najaf. We could travel all over this country without having to fly in military helicopters. n\nThat's the only way we can move around here. So, it's when the military can accommodate us, if the military can accommodate us, then we can go out and see. I have been out with Iraqi security forces over and over again. And you know what? When Bob Woodruff was out with Iraqi security forces and he was injured, the first thing that people were asking was, oh, was he being responsible by placing himself in this position with Iraqi forces? And they started to question his responsibility and integrity as a journalist. I mean, we just can't win. I think it's an outrage to point the finger at journalists and say that this is our fault. I really do. And I think it shows an abject lack of respect for any journalist that's prepared to come to this country and risk their lives. "
Oh, sorry, we can't show this reconstruction project because then that's going to expose it to sabotage. And the last time we had journalists down here, the plant was attacked. I mean, security dominates every single thing that happens in this country….So how it is that security issues should not then dominate the media coverage coming out of here?