Bernard Shaw (CNN) Did this happen?

Bernard Shaw was a CNN reporter in Baghdad at the start of the Gulf War. I think Peter Arnett was with him, IIRC. Like many people, I watched the coverage of the war. When the anti-aircraft batteries started firing as the Americans attacked the city, I think I remember hearing an exchange a bit like this:

Arnett: “We can see tracers lighting up the night sky.”

Shaw: “Do you think we should take cover in the basement?”

Arnett: “Huh? No! This is a great vantage point!”

Shaw: “Yeah… but there’s a lot of shooting going on. Maybe one of us should go to the basement? That way, if this room takes a hit there will be one of us left to tell the story.”

And so on. I’m sure I heard something like this exchange as I watched CNN during the opening hours of the attack. Does anyone else remember it?

HBO recently had a movie “Live From Baghdad” that was essentially the story leading up to this scene. John Holliman was also there BTW and everyone else was in the basement. Good movie.

To answer the question, I don’t know. I can’t find a transcript. But it doesn’t sound at all farfetched compared to the things that I did hear said, assuming the movie was accurate in that regard.

I don’t have HBO. How was Shaw portrayed?

Of course, the real question is, if Bernard Shaw’s wife were raped and murdered by Saddam Hussein, how would he feel about invading Iraq?


I get it! Great obscure reference!

Shaw recounts the events here and confirms that he was with Arnett and John Holliman.

Didn’t he refuse to be de-briefed by the Pentagon upon returning to the states? Seems like I heard that awhile back. Sorry, no cite.

I no longer have my tapes, but I remember Shaw sounded quite frightened. He was a Marine, so he probably knew what is was like to be under fire. Holiman sounded calm. Maybe he’d never been shot at. He died in a traffic accient, bless him.
What happened to Shaw? He was writing a biography, I believe.

My wife and I distinctly remember hearing Shaw declare that he was going to hide underneath a desk. We still make references to that quote today.

That’s what I remember as well.

I don’t remember that. All I remember was that he was anxious to get down to the basement. Here’s what he says in don’t ask’s link:

Could it be that I’m merging his frightened voice with hiding under tables, and “remembering” that he suggested “one of them” should go to the basement? I’d say that’s a possibility, but I’m pretty sure the exchanged happened as in the OP. (That’s why I’m asking.)

I contacted CNN for a transcript, but they don’t have transcripts. They gave me a number I could call to buy a tape.

Based on HBO’s portrayal of this incident, the reason they were hiding under tables was so that the Iraqi guards in the hotel would not force them to go into the bomb shelter. HBO made it seem like there was no question that Shaw and Arnette both wanted to stay in the room to witness and report the story. It was a great, tense scene, with explosions knocking people back from the window, etc. Holliman was shown as being torn between wanting to be where the action was, and wanting to be with the majority of the CNN crew, who were in the shelter. In the end, he went to the shelter, but couldn’t stand being away from the action, and so ran back up to the room, in defiance of the Iraqi guards in the shelter.

I distinctly remember Shaw talking about being “under a table,” although whether that was from fear or an attempt to hide from guards I don’t know.