Stories from Afghanistan appear quite regularly across all CBS News platforms, and now CBS Evening News Anchor Scott Pelley is putting an even greater emphasis on reports from our bureau in Kabul. Correspondent Mandy Clark is based here full time, but as she's off on vacation for a couple of weeks, I jumped at the chance to come fill in for her.
On-screen you see plenty of me, but there are a number of folks who work very hard to pull these stories together (and often don't get as much of the credit). So, I thought it might be interesting to provide a "behind the scenes" look at CBS' outpost in Kabul.
Here we're shooting at a bread shop in Kabul. New York-based producer John Bentley is seen in the doorway. I love these bread shops and think the pictures are so rich, which is why I wanted to include a visit to one in one of our pieces.
Producer John Bentley and I are here for a month or so. Though we've worked together a couple of times before, this is our first extended assignment together. He's spent several months this year in Libya and so he's comfortable working in a conflict zone. We were just chatting about how interesting it is to get to go on an adventure such as this for work and to learn about a country and a conflict from its people. We interviewed Haroun Mir, who has written op-eds for the New York Times, and he was reminding us that often Americans incorrectly think of Afghanistan as a country that has been a war for nearly a decade rather than one that has been at war for three. Mir tells us that he remembers days during Taliban rule when hundreds of rockets would land in Kabul on a single day. For all we worry about security today, Mir tells us that, relatively, it's much safer now if you take a longer view.
Oh yeah, and here's a picture of me at the desk I've inherited here for a little bit. I'm excited to be back "in the field" for a semi-extended period of time. I have one telephone in New York -- and somehow I have four here. See the coffee cup in the foreground? As a treat I brought some Illy coffee from the states and we brewed our first pot today (a nice change from tea).
In this picture I'm at that bread shop with Abdul who appeared in our first Evening News piece from Kabul. When I ask him about all of the fancy security the wealthy can afford, he pointed to the sky and told me: "I only have God to protect me."