The Press: It Was a Public Relations Rout Too

The Pentagon did a masterly job of controlling coverage of the war. Now journalists have an image problem.

In the days leading up to the ground war, reporters were so frustrated by their lack of access to the battlefield that they jumped at the chance to cover rehearsals for a massive amphibious landing on the Kuwaiti coast. As the exercises carried on, press coverage mounted and anticipation grew. Only one problem: the landing never came. The amphibious assault was a diversionary tactic intended to fool the Iraqis. And the press coverage, as General Norman Schwarzkopf pointedly observed, was a big help.

Amid the jubilation of victory last week, many journalists had an uneasy feeling that they had been routed...

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