NRO: As a former and frequent war correspondent, what’s your opinion of the coverage of the war on terror, of Operation Iraqi Freedom?
Beichman: How come newspapers have science writers who know some science, and food writers who know something about food, and best of all an M.D. like the New York Times’s Lawrence Altman who can write about medicine with authority? But when it comes to war and terror, anybody and everybody is sent to cover the story with a minimal knowledge of the subject of their assignment. So what do we get “human-interest” stories and dumb “gotcha” questions at headquarters press briefings.
— Arnold Beichman, 1913-2010, as interviewed by Kathryn Jean Lopez, May 16, 2003.
(Much more on Beichman from John Podhoretz.)