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Some say coverage of war is too much

March 31, 2003|by ANDREW SCHOTZ and TAMELA BAKER

andrews@herald-mail.com
tammyb@herald-mail.com

As cable channels pump news of the war in Iraq over the airwaves nonstop, some area residents say it's too much coverage - but many of them watch it anyway.

"I've been watching a lot of it," said Mike Martin, 35, of Clear Spring.

A former military man, Martin said, "There's good and bad to it. I think they're giving away too much information."

"I think it's good. It keeps everything up to date," said Shelly Mellott, 29, of Berkeley Springs, W.Va., who has been watching on her TV and on her computer.

She said her husband is in the reserves and is stationed in Hagerstown. The more information, the better, she said.

"I watch it all the time," said Monica Strong of Greencastle, Pa., but "I think it's too much. I don't think we should know all that; it's too much information."

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"I watch it too much," said Dan Watson, 50, of Hagerstown. "But I don't think it's too much" coverage.

"Watching it on TV, I think, is good," said Daryl Brady, 42, of Shepherdstown, W.Va. "The only thing I feel is that embedded reporters should have to go through the Pentagon before they give their reports."

Embedded reporters say one thing, while reporters who depend on the Pentagon say another, creating conflicting reports, he said.

Brady said he believed the Pentagon would provide accurate information, enough for the public's need to know.

Brady, who was in the Army for 22 years and served in Panama and Grenada, thought live war footage was good.

"It's a good idea for the American people to see what us veterans go through when we're called upon," he said.

Brady did have one complaint.

"(CBS news anchor) Dan Rather should be stricken from the air" for showing too much footage of people protesting, he said. Brady said that kind of backlash would bother soldiers who see it.

"I try to avoid it," said Louann Souder of Greencastle. "I feel really bad for the families who have people over there. I think it would be a terrible way to find out" if a relative were hurt.

Tim and Angela Dye of Martinsburg, W.Va., both in their 40s, disagreed on how much information should be revealed. Angela Dye said the coverage should say who the soldiers are and give personal information about them.

No, it shouldn't, Tim Dye countered. The enemy can pick up and use sensitive information, he said.

"I think it's terrible," said Bob Graff, 50, of Hagerstown. "I think the interference of the press is affecting the war."'

Anna Burns, 15, of Greencastle, had a different point of view.

"I think it's good and thorough," she said. "I think the more details, the better. The details, for me, really help out. I don't think it's too much. If you don't want to watch it, you can turn it off."

"I watch it off and on," said Carl Snook, 53, of Boonsboro. "There's plenty of it there. You can turn it off when you don't want to watch anymore; that's what I've been doing."

"I watch it every time I'm home," said Shelby Kenney, 48, of Martinsburg. "I think we're doing the right thing."

"You can't avoid watching it," said Ken Martin of Waynesboro, Pa. "I think the media pound it to death, but they gotta do the job they gotta do."

Peggy Snyder, 44, of Hagerstown, appreciated the 24-hour coverage.

"I like it," she said. "I think it's enough; I watch it a lot."

But she said the coverage "changes my mood somewhat - it makes me angry when I see what they're doing to our boys."

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