Press: How Reporters Missed the War

On a tight leash, journalists assail the Pentagon's pool system

When Allied troops stormed the Normandy beaches in 1944, American correspondents and photographers were on hand to tell the story. But two weeks ago, when U.S. Marines and Rangers led the charge into Panama as part of Operation Just Cause, not a single journalist accompanied them. The Pentagon- sanctioned pool of reporters did not arrive on the scene until four hours after the fighting began, and they were unable to file their first dispatches until six hours after that. Worse, the initial pool report shed almost no light on the confused military situation, leading off with the hardly titanic news that...