Saving Private Arnett

Former CNN correspondent Peter Arnett is angling to return to Iraq before the war starts this winter, writes Michael Wolff. This time, however, Arnett is freelancing for CameraPlanet, an indie news-production unit. Wolff sees Arnett as the last of a dying breed, as real war correspondents disappear and are replaced by famous talking heads like Geraldo Rivera or Christiane Amanpour. "As it happens, he is oddly able to do this, and all the other glamour-pusses are able to position themselves in the war picture, too, because nobody really does now what war reporters used to do. Nobody is covering combat -- nobody is in combat. Armies, after all, don't invite reporters along to battle anymore; and the point about digitized combat is that there is nothing but an explosion (recorded by gun cams) to cover; and, what's more, highly paid famous people are not, as a rule, able to endure great discomfort."