ABC has been the only network to send a correspondent to accompany Vice President Dick Cheney on his Asian trip. Jonathan Karl had already filed from Japan (subscription required), Australia and Pakistan. Now he was on hand at Bagram AFB in Afghanistan (subscription required) when a suicide bomb coincided with Cheney's unscheduled overnight stay at the base, a delay caused by bad weather. The bomb, which killed 23, was detonated at the base's main gate: "The bomber never got anywhere near the Vice President," Karl stated.
CBS and NBC covered the incident from back in Washington. The White House "insisted this is not a sign of the Taliban's strength," noted NBC's David Gregory. His unnamed military sources denied that Cheney was its target. At the Pentagon, CBS' David Martin took the opportunity to catch up on the military threat to President Hamid Karzai's government from Taliban camps across the border in Waziristan "beyond the reach of the Pakistani government," that his network overlooked while it was yesterday's lead on ABC and NBC. Martin quoted one inside-the-Beltway analyst's fears that the United States' Pakistan policy is "one bad event away from this going down the tubes."
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