CBS A.M. Weather Man From Baghdad: Iraq Better Than the Headlines

If you want a comprehensive picture of the situation in Iraq, you probably won’t get it from traditional news anchors. In fact today, on CBS’s "The Early Show" it took a report from Dave Price, the weatherman, for viewers to get a full picture of the conditions. Price has spent the last week in Iraq touring with entertainers, such as musician Charlie Daniels, who are performing for our troops. This morning, he filed a report from Baghdad where he hinted that things in Iraq really aren’t as bad as the media are making them out to be:

"And throughout this whole journey, despite what the headlines that we read and see in the United States are, the morale of the troops may surprise you."

Price later pointed out:

"Folks from all over the base have come here. And they said, one of the hardest things to actually communicate to people at home is the ability that these groups have had to build trust amongst the Iraqis and the Iraqi police, and that's hard to put in a headline, and it's hard to put on video. But they've done a fine job."

While most in the media are hyping bad news, making it seem like all of Iraq is spiraling into an abyss of violence, Price pointed out that the violence is limited to certain areas:

"Yes, there's still pockets of violence. Our base was shelled while we were in, in the Sunni triangle and off performing. But I think most soldiers would say, now the hard work has begun. Now it is time to settle in."

In fact, Price had the following exchange with "Early Show" co-host Harry Smith in which he insisted conditions in Iraq are improving:

Harry Smith: "Dave, tell me this now because you did this with the troops over in Afghanistan a year ago. What has this experience been like for you? And, what is it like to be with these, with these soldiers and Marines?"

Dave Price: "Well, I'll tell you the conditions here in Iraq are significantly better than they were in Afghanistan. And as anyone who's been on their second or third tour will say, things have really begun to improve. Things are really operating much more smoothly here, and it's a much more comfortable place to be."

Although the "Early Show" aired this positive report on Iraq, don’t get your hopes up that the whole show was like that. In the 7:30 half hour, Rene Syler interviewed San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom on this the 100th anniversary of the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906. Syler wanted to know how prepared San Francisco was for a disaster of that magnitude today, and in doing so invoked the memories of Hurricane Katrina as a comparison.

Rene Syler:"You just mentioned Hurricane Katrina for a moment, and the pictures that we saw coming out of the gulf coast region were stunning, and people were on their own for a very, very long time. If a quake were to happen, a tremendous natural disaster like that, how long do you think people would be on their own? Could San Francisco help them out in their time of need?"

You can judge by the question that Rene Syler despises the idea of people taking precautions and preparing for a disaster themselves. Instead, she wants the government to have immediate results in taking care of citizens as soon as a disaster passes, regardless of the obstacles such a disaster may impose.

Iraq CBS Early Show