Skip to comments.Rather, Brown and Even Jennings Acknowledge Coalition Success (Media Idiots Change Tune)
Posted on 04/03/2003 5:33:18 PM PST by PJ-Comix
The U.S. forces have even won over Peter Jennings as he led Wednesday's World News Tonight by espousing coalition success and mocking the Hussein regime's claims of victory: At one point on Iraqi television today a government official read a statement, allegedly from Saddam Hussein, which said 'victory is within our reach.' It doesn't look like it on the battlefield.
Jennings soon cautioned, however: But this is the fertile crescent of Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization, and it has been a stronghold for Saddam Hussein. So it is still...the great unknown.
Dan Rather provided an upbeat assessment on CBS: Tonight there is major progress and a stunning battlefield victory to report.
At 10pm EST, at the top of his four-hour block, CNN's Aaron Brown announced the beginning of the end: The end game is on...There's no guarantee that the end will come quickly, and certainly the end is filled with uncertainty and great risk, but the beginning of the end seems to be where we are.
Comparatively, NBC's Tom Brokaw provided the most dour view: After an unexpectedly difficult ground war on the way to Baghdad, American and coalition forces are within 19 miles of the Iraqi capital. But, he warned, now the very difficult assignment, taking on Baghdad with the Saddam Hussein regime showing no signs of folding anytime soon.
Now, details about how ABC, CBS and NBC on Wednesday night, April 2, evaluated the status of the war:
-- Jennings teased his broadcast: On World News Tonight, with U.S. forces closer Baghdad faster than they thought, the Republican Guard is being pounded from the air.
Jennings opened the program: Good evening everyone. At one point on Iraqi television today a government official read a statement, allegedly from Saddam Hussein, which said 'victory is within our reach.' It doesn't look like it on the battlefield. Today the march on Baghdad by the U.S. Army and Marines was described from the scene as easier than anticipated. The Pentagon says tat two Republican Guard divisions were pretty much obliterated. U.S. forces are now successfully across the Euphrates and the Tigris Rivers at points which enable them to get onto pretty good roads that run right into the capital. Baghdad is about 20 or 30 miles ahead. But this is the fertile crescent of Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization, and it has been a stronghold for Saddam Hussein. So it is still, as John McWethy reports from the Pentagon tonight, the great unknown.
McWethy cautioned: As U.S. forces close in, concerns mount that the Iraqi regime might take desperate measures, like use of nerve gas.
Ted Koppel, traveling with the Army, declared: 3rd infantry division is now on Saddam's doorstep.
-- Dan Rather opened the CBS Evening News: Good evening. As the war against Iraq heads into a third week, tonight there is major progress and a stunning battlefield victory to report. The U.S. military says two key Republican Guard divisions protecting Baghdad have been beaten so badly they are, quote, 'no longer credible forces.' They were pummeled by U.S. forces now closing in on the capital from two side. To the east, advancing U.S. Marines are now within 30 miles or less of the outskirts of Baghdad. To the West, lead elements of the Army's third infantry are within 20 miles or less.
Jim Axelrod, with the Army, suggested a similarity with Vietnam, at least terrain-wise: This afternoon was not like this morning. For starters, the terrain. The familiar desert war looked more like the jungles of Vietnam, and this time Iraqi opposition was fierce. Finally, the Iraqis wee beaten back enough for U.S. troops to start their trip over the river.
Axelrod concluded that by the end of the day the unit was exhausted, but exactly where they intended to be when they started their day: On Baghdad's doorstep.
John Roberts, with the Marines, revealed: For the first time in a week, the word 'cakewalk' has resurfaced in the Marines' vocabulary.
But, he noted, there are broad fears that Saddam could unleash chemical weapons if he senses he's going down.
At the Pentagon, David Martin concluded on an ominous note: As for chemical weapons, none were fired today. But the Iraqis can be overheard on their radios talking among themselves about using them.
-- Tom Brokaw refrained from sweeping generalities about success as he began the NBC Nightly News, as transcribed by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth: Good evening. The war against Iraq began two weeks ago tonight with a strike at a Baghdad residence where Saddam Hussein and his sons were believed to have been staying. Now, 14 days later, after an unexpectedly difficult ground war on the way to Baghdad, American and coalition forces are within 19 miles of the Iraqi capital. And some very heavy fighting and a dramatic rescue in the last 24 hours. Here is an overview of what well be covering tonight. The outer rim of Baghdads defenses is under attack tonight. As one U.S. official put it, 'the circle is closing. In An Nasiriyah, NBCs Kerry Sanders is traveling with the First Marines Second Battalion with details of the dramatic rescue of Private Jessica Lynch. North, near Al Kut, where NBCs Chip Reid is with the First Marines Third Battalion, following a fierce battle with a Baghdad division of the Republican Guard. To the Shiite holy city An Najaf, where NBCs Dana Lewis is with the 101st Airborne Division fighting in and around mosques and land mines. And somewhere around Karbala, David Bloom takes us into the battle with the Third Infantry Division on the road to Baghdad. A lot of progress for the United States and the allies in the last 24 hours. But now the very difficult assignment, taking on Baghdad with the Saddam Hussein regime showing no signs of folding anytime soon.
I yelled back at the screen, "No, the tone of the coverage of the war has changed."
Jennings is churning inside.
..."And Judas Jennings went and hanged himself."
You must always keep in mind that Katie's "sources" are her dinner party guests. They also provide "the tone" of current events.
Good to see that the various network opinions seem to be moving in the direction of a quick and decisive victory.
Then you must know my sisters...W is 82 and M is 79.. Of course I am the little brother. :-)