It's on 24 hours, 7 days a week. The war with Iraq has become a part of the American media diet. "Well, we watch it from morning to night," said Bill and Lyn Michaels.
At the newsstand, 'Soldier of Fortune' has been named the bestseller of the month. But as the war enters its second week, newspapers from across the country are reporting a mood of doubt and uncertainty.
In the Dallas Morning News, 'U.S. Defends War Plan,' in the New York Times, 'Bush Peril; Shifting Sand and Fickle Opinion.' Headlines with an underlying criticism that the war, despite being just 12 days old, isn't moving fast enough.
"What's too long?, is the best question to ask," said Lt. Colonel David Reid. He teaches at Texas Tech, and dismisses the second guessing by media outlets who say the war is already taking too much time. "You can't put a time limit on something where there are innumerable numbers of variables that come into play," he said.
With the media reporting a lack of faith in military planning and prowess, the general public might be lead to believe that the reports reflect public opinion. In fact, in nearly a dozen interviews on the street, not one person felt the war was moving too slowly. "I think it's progress is right on track," said Eric Nelson. "I don't think that there's anything they could do to expedite it," added Jay Ibarra.
The accusation of underestimating the enemy's strength, put solely on the shoulders of the media. "The only one carping on about that has been the media," said Bill Michaels.
"Right now, it's a little premature to say that we underestimated anything," said Lt. Colonel Reid.