Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Luncheon on the Brazos

I got to go to a luncheon today aboard an old river paddle-wheel named the Brazos Belle. The Downtown Waco Incorporated was hosting Jim Cummings, the Dallas Bureau Chief for NBC News. Now the principal reason for speaking was to talk about covering the war in Iraq, which we did. But we got more in to speaking about covering war in general and his experiences in Iran, El Salvador and Beirut and how they differ with correspondents now. To go from wanting to mark your vehicle to show you are a journalist to trying as hard as you can to blend in because journalists are a favorite target in 20 years is very scary. He also told us about Jeremy Little, a sound guy from NBC who was killed by an RPG attack while traveling with the US Army. It makes you realilze just how bad things are there. I got to be Johnny-on-the-spot reporter, too. I asked Cummings about the al Qaqaa incident. In fairness, he probably wasn't prepared to be grilled on the subject at a small luncheon filled with Republicans (lots of old rich white guys from Baylor University) so he probably didn't have every little fact on the subject. But he said that the more or less official line is that the NBC team that was imbedded with the 101st Airborne Second Brigade wasn't there for long, , they weren't searching and they didn't see anything. That's probably the best line for them to take, even though those in the know ae well-aware of the earlier search by US military that found the stockpile intact and under seal. All in all, it was a good lunch. I got to listen to an experienced newsman, I chatted ith my managing editor about blogging and I had a good meal.

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