Marvin Kalb, a longtime broadcaster now with Harvard's Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, says "some tilting toward a sympathetic view of the American soldier at war" is "a natural phenomenon in this context," one that had not prevented the public from getting "very good coverage on television."
But Mark Hertsgaard--whose books about U.S. foreign policy include "On Bended Knee: The Press and the Reagan Presidency"--strongly criticizes what he calls the "false patriotism" of the networks.
"It is not our role to revere or applaud the government or the military. Our role is to inform the public and thereby serve the country," he says. "The government is not the country, and so when you see reporters talking about 'we' and essentially following the good-guy script, they are...betraying the real principles of journalism and American democracy."