Sign of things to come? Cable News Network is now issuing a special item to its three field reporters covering L.A. urban violence--$350 bulletproof vests, the same kind used by SWAT teams. Gang violence is the principal reason that CNN journalists now must be protected.
"We didn't buy them so our people could become cowboys, taking unnecessary risk," said CNN L.A. bureau chief Steve Shusman.
But: "Sending reporters out into crime-ridden L.A. without protection would be like asking reporters to go cover the trapped whales in Alaska without buying them a parka."