Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Reporters on the Job

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Reporters on the Job

Article excerpt

* CHASING DOWN THE TRUTH: Extracting that elusive thing called "truth" has always been difficult in Iraq, and Monitor correspondent Scott Peterson says that remarkably little has changed since the fall of Saddam Hussein. Rumors make the situation worse. There's the persistent belief that US forces wear sunglasses that enable them to see beneath the clothes of Iraqi women. And there's the one making the rounds that the US-led occupation authority here is trying to punish Iraqis for their resistance by depriving them of electricity. One "eyewitness" swears he spotted a tank with the words "no peace, no electricity" scrawled on it.

While reporting Thursday's story about health concerns after the looting of an Iraqi nuclear facility, an apparently sincere doctor sent Scott and his driver and interpreter on a wild-goose chase across the blistering hot countryside to talk to a "radiation victim."

The running joke, composed by his Iraqi colleagues on the drive back to Baghdad: "What would 20 Iraqis say if they saw a man shooting a basketball into a hoop? …

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