But the networks and, in many cases, the print media are keenly aware of the questions their readers and viewers want answers to. They are not always that complicated, and they don't always require live reporting from Iraq.
"I have to say that's an appalling indictment of the media," said CNN's Mr. Ware. "This is the Vietnam War of our generation. This conflict is going to have repercussions that far exceed that of an Indo-Chinese, essentially, civil war. Yet for a litany of reasons, which may or may not be legitimate, from cost to security to audience fatigue, the media has dropped the ball on this conflict. It is a tragic indictment on the Fourth Estate.
"Obviously, the media is a business at the end of the day," said Mr. Ware. "There are advertisers to attract. We're also about much more than that. We don't always have to follow the market. Sometimes we have to lead it. And illuminate it. That's where the media is failing the longer this drags on. How many people cut their teeth in conflicts in Vietnam? This is the war of this generation. Where is the graduating class of this conflict? That is something that has long saddened me. Not enough of our breed has picked up the cudgel of this war."