As the war continued to stretch longer than anyone expected or the government initially estimated it to, the coverage of media for Afghanistan war changed significantly. By this time, many stories of US bombers and missiles destroying residential areas of Afghanistan with civilian people present had become public knowledge (Rasmussen). Several news stories also broke by different network that claimed massive civilian devastation to target few Taliban personnel.
In this period of Afghanistan war, US media was divided into two parts- one part of media believed that images of Afghan civilians dying because of misdirected US army forces attacks can be highly manipulated to present a different story about the war (McMahan 143-154). On the other hand, a different faction of American media believed that it was morally essential to present the issue of Afghan war from every point-of-view independently (Ottosen 261-278).
Some other political or media pundits also sided with CNN’s position in this issue of not criticizing American government for the civilian casualties in Afghanistan. Brit Hume, news anchor for Fox News spoke in favor of CNN that the stories about civilian devastation should not be emphasized much by saying that ‘civilian casualties are historically, by definition, a part of war (Thornton 389-390).’ Mara Liasson, White House Correspondent for National Public Radio also agreed to this by saying- “War is about killing people, civilian casualties are unavoidable.”
Many of the other news networks did not follow the political stance of CNN which implied that civilian casualties in war should be readily treated as acceptable. For example- CBS exec producer Jim Murphy said that ‘I wouldn’t order anybody to do anything like that. Our reporters are smart enough to know it has to be put in context(Woodward 48).’NBC VP Bill Wheatley stated that their news network will present stories and facts to the American public, and he trusts them to make their opinion in light of all knowledge available to them.