Five Minutes with Linda Vester

Linda Vester
Linda Vester's back!  We caught up with her to ask about Operation Iraqi Freedom and her recent absence.

Many FOX Fans noticed your recent absence and asked after you. Where were you?

Thanks for your concern! I was on maternity leave. On Feb 1, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, who came into the world at a whopping 8 lbs. She is doing just great, so it's time for me to get back to work.

You have extensive experience and knowledge of Mideast affairs; how is that helping you anchor coverage of Operation Iraqi Freedom?

Yes, my background in Middle East affairs helps tremendously as I'm anchoring coverage of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Sometimes it's just knowing the geography, other times it's understanding the Arab psyche; whatever the situation, I try to use that to offer useful insight.

You were a reporter during Operation Desert Storm. How would you compare coverage of that conflict with the current operation in Iraq?

When I was a correspondent on the front lines in Operation Desert Storm, I found the relationship between the press and the military was much trickier. Our access to front line troops was much, much more limited; as a result we got much less footage of the units as they advanced into Kuwait. Often, by the time we got that footage, it was outdated. The current plan of "embedding" reporters with units seems to be working much better. I'd bet that Pentagon officials had to think long and hard about it though — what would happen if a reporter died in combat with his/her assigned unit? But I applaud the Department of Defense for accepting that risk.

Do you feel safe living and working in the New York area?

I most definitely feel safe living and working in New York. I understand that many people feel nervous, but frankly, I think OUR ability to imagine terrorist scenarios far exceeds THEIR (Al Qaeda's) ability to actually carry out an attack. 9/11 was their one shot. We'll never let down our guard again. They'll try, but I have great confidence that we have Al Qaeda on the run.

Linda Vester serves as anchor for FOX News Live. Prior to joining FNC, Vester was an anchor/correspondent for NBC News as well as host of Today in America on MSNBC. Before this, she served as a reporter for NBC Newschannel and WFLA-TV (NBC) in Tampa, Florida, where she provided extensive coverage of Operation Desert Storm in the Persian Gulf.