The Blog

Special Relationships

It's becoming clear that some journalists in Saddam's Iraq had special relationships with the government. Others did it the right way.

12:00 AM, Sep 17, 2003 • By CLAUDIA WINKLER
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

Well, I didn't blame them politically for that. But I thought the decision to suppress what they knew they had seen in Kuwait City was wholly corrupt and wrong and indefensible. That night, the people who were there--we all passed the same night. They passed it in glory on TV. But everybody was in the same hotel. In the morning--I was talking the other day to a guy I had spent a lot of time with that night, a reporter from a Sydney paper--and he reminded me that he and I had gone up to CNN's suite at dawn and knocked on the door. They had locked the door so nobody could get into their suite, because they had the only working phone line and they wanted to protect it, of course. I knocked on the door and slipped them a note asking them if they would, not file our stories for us, but if we could give them a list of phone numbers of wives and others that they would call and tell everybody we were okay. They pushed the note back under the door and said, "Haven't you ever heard of competition?" So a lot of people who were there have never forgiven them for that.

That was not competition.

No, what competition? It's just being a complete jerk.

What did they think, it was encoded messages?

No, I think they were just jerks. I think the producer, Wiener, was just a jerk.

For the complete interview with one journalist who did his profession proud, click here.

Claudia Winkler is a managing editor at The Weekly Standard.