COMMENTS: Bombs Away

Both ABC and CBS filed from Iraq itself. CBS' Allen Pizzey obtained home video of a soldier's eye view from inside a HumVee. Specialist Jordan Spurlin had his dashboard-mounted camera running when it was rocked by a roadside bomb. "First you feel the blast wave come across you. And then you hear the sound. And then you feel the actual explosion itself," the 24-year-old Spurlin recalled. "The whole time you are thinking: 'I hope I am all right.'" No one was injured by the detonation of the Improvised Explosive Device but we got to see the vehicle being rocked and we heard the adrenaline-charged exhilaration of Spurlin's "band of brothers" when they realized they were still safe and sound. Pizzey called it "the profane joy of being alive."

A common complaint about the networks' coverage of Iraq is that it concentrates on violence without the balance of reconstruction. ABC's story from Baghdad demonstrates that even when reporters respond and seek out that school building project, the result is not necessarily positive. Miguel Marquez showed us a new girls' school whose building crew had been infiltrated by saboteurs even as it was being supervised by the US military. The 400-student school in Tarmiyah, north of Baghdad, had been "wired for destruction as it was being built" with explosives buried in floors, walls and ceilings. The hidden material was discovered safely before the school's opening day.


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