And now the most commanding two minutes in television, the latest from the wartime grapevine:
No Weapons Worries?
American and allied troops about to enter war with Iraq do not have to worry about Saddam's forces using chemical or biological weapons, that on the authority of none other than chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix. He said world public opinion makes Saddam unlikely to use such weapons. According to Blix, "I think it is unlikely they will do that because there is a fair amount of skepticism about armed action....That skepticism would turn immediately around if they used chemical or biological weapons." Blix added, "Some people care about their reputation even after death."
And speaking of the United Nations, reporter Andrea Peyser of The New York Post wasn't getting any answers yesterday out of Iraq's envoy to the United Nations, Mohammed Al-Douri. In fact, Al-Douri was asking her the questions: "You are a Chris-tee-an, aren't you?" Peyser said no, citing her Jewish heritage. So Al-Douri dug a little deeper, asking, "Are you an Israelian?" Peyser said she was born in the states but her parents were born in Israel, at which point Al-Douri nodded and waved her away with his hand. And, according to Peyser's story in The New York Post, the day before Al-Douri called an Israeli reporter "a spy, a killer."
Getting Turner-ed Down
Ted Turner, the man who founded CNN, can't seem to get an assignment from them. He's offered to work for free as a reporter for the network's Baghdad reporting team, that according to the Associated Press. "I'm 64 and pretty well wiped out financially anyway. I might as well go down in flames." But CNN turned down the offer.
And speaking of the media, the man once called the most trusted in America, former CBS anchor Walter Cronkite, acknowledges the press does tilt toward liberalism. But he said the tilt is not so great that the press is politically partisan. He said most news people start their early years as cub reporters, covering the seamy side of life and seeing the poverty. As a result, he said, reporters tend to favor the underprivileged. As for his own views, Cronkite called President Bush and his administration "arrogant" when it comes to Iraq, according to the Daily Record in New Jersey. He said, "Every little country in the world that has a border conflict with another little country... they now have a great example from the United States... I'm very disappointed that we've come to this point."