F OR the foreign journalists covering U.S. Secretary of State Warren
Christopher's peek at Cambodia, the overnight stop was just a sideshow to the
They saw even less of the country than did
They followed behind the diplomat, behind the translators,
and behind the bodyguards.
Most of them didn't write a word about
The news about Vietnam would overshadow anything. Said Karen
Breslau, from the Newsweek magazine: "The visit Warren Christopher will make to
Vietnam is much more important, so I will just mention the stopover in Phnom
Los Angeles Times reporter James Mann said he was interested in
writing about Cambodia, but due to deadlines, the lead - the "news" introduction
of the story - would only survive the paper's first edition and would be
replaced by a new "top" on Vietnam for the late editions.
there's a time problem. Warren Christopher arrives in Vietnam by the time I
write the Cambodia story."
Jud Ginsberg, the CNN reporter, said he filed
some news from Cambodia for CNN radio, but not TV. "I think this is sort of a
sidebar to Vietnam," he added.
As for those who did write about
Cambodia, they either had previous experience here, or had done some homework
The New York Times' David Sanger - currently in charge of the
Washington economic desk - noted many changes from three years ago when, from
his then base in Tokyo, he covered the story on the student
"What's remarkable is that three years ago, American diplomats
were obsessed by the Khmer Rouge. Today, on the contrary, listen to Warren
Christopher. He speaks about the Most Favorised Nation principle when speaking
Sanger wanted to point out in his story that Cambodia
was now a working democracy. "But I will also mention the concerns about press
"Of course, we can not see Cambodia so much. But we try to take
advantage of breaks to meet other people," said Sanger. During the afternoon, he
visited some MPs and spoke to Ung Huot, the Cambodian Foreign Affairs
Michael Dobbs, of the Washington Post, reckoned the press law
was an important story during this, his first visit.
However, he said
his story would be a "general" one about the current situation in
"But I can not avoid quoting the terrifying visit to the Tuol
Sleng jail. I felt Warren Christopher was really shocked by what he saw inside."