Real Battles In Real Time

The networks delivered amazing live images, but the unparalleled access may have a price

It was a staggering demonstration of new technology, the fruit of heavy investment, months of behind-the-scenes work and the deployment of personnel seemingly everywhere at once. And the military was doing some interesting stuff too. But in television's coverage of the first days of the war, what transfixed American viewers was not simply what we were seeing but that we were seeing it at all. Tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles powering through berms on the Iraqi border, oil fields burning, missiles ripping into Baghdad and soldiers and reporters donning gas masks and scrambling for bunkers--all live and in color, or at...

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