It's now been almost ten years since the problematic early occupation of Iraq, but we're still learning fresh details about how the Bush Administration tried to block the bad press. John Cook at Gawker just published an email that Daniel Senor, former spokesperson for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, sent to ABC News producer and coalition media adviser around the time all those pesky stories about "body bags piling up" were starting to get annoying. Cook points to this prickly passage:
Some print reporters have made a long-term commitment to their Iraq bureaus (e.g. Rajiv Chandrasekeran of the Post & Alissa Rubin of the LA Times are each here for another year). They know they've got to deal with us for a while, and their reporting reflects it. The television correspondents/producers are the opposite. They come in and out on 3-week stints, and therefore find no need to invest in their relationships with Bremer & Co. They just do a bunch of hit-and-runs--2 weeks of 'Iraq has gone to hell--US bodybags piling up, blah blah blah.' How do we get longer commitments?
Click through for the full email and more details about the Bush Administration's (often successful) attempts to steer the message away from the fact that a lot of people were dying in Iraq. Its full of 20-20 hindsight kinds of realizations, but it's good to the know the coalition was at least frustrated about how difficult it was to censor new reports of "yet another American casualty." For a while at least.