Ward reported from Kabul on Thursday and described pleas for help from Afghans who worked with the US coalition and now fear Taliban retaliation. “I’m getting messages every hour now” from concerned individuals, she said, with one man even threatening to stand in front of the US Embassy and set himself on fire if he doesn’t hear back about his paperwork soon. “There’s absolutely a sense of palpable fear and near-panic in the capital right now,” Ward said.
The CBS and NBC nightly newscasts also carried live reports from Kabul. “The mood here is grim,” Roxana Saberi said on CBS. On NBC, Kelly Cobiella interviewed a former interpreter for the US military who fears for his family. “Thank you and stay safe,” Lester Holt told Cobiella.
>> Pentagon officials “know that any photograph that looks sort of unvictorious, that looks like ‘giving up’ and kind of quitting — which, of course, is in fact what the US is doing — it’s also something that might be useful to some foreign adversaries,” she added. “It’s useful for Taliban propaganda…”
>> Stack also reflected on two decades of Afghan war coverage: “I found it very difficult to reconcile how little the US public does seem to understand or engage with the extent of what’s happened and what our government has done. I find that very jarring, especially because I gave so many years of my life and I have friends who died covering those stories, and it’s sort of frustrating. I feel like people have done great coverage over the years and it just hasn’t quite penetrated.”
Then versus now
Prayers and fears for Afghan journalists
“All my female colleagues in the media are terrified,” the anonymous journalist wrote. She said “all I can do is keep running and hope that a route out of the province opens up soon. Please pray for me.”