Q The other day -- in fact, this week, you said that we, the United States, is in Afghanistan and Iraq by invitation. Would you like to correct that incredible distortion of American history -- MR. McCLELLAN: No, we are -- that's where we currently -- Q -- in view of your credibility is already mired? How can you say that? MR. McCLELLAN: Helen, I think everyone in this room knows that you're taking that comment out of context. There are two democratically-elected governments in Iraq and -- Q We're we invited into Iraq? MR. McCLELLAN: There are two democratically-elected governments now in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we are there at their invitation. They are sovereign governments, and we are there today -- Q You mean if they had asked us out, that we would have left? MR. McCLELLAN: No, Helen, I'm talking about today. We are there at their invitation. They are sovereign governments -- Q I'm talking about today, too. MR. McCLELLAN: -- and we are doing all we can to train and equip their security forces so that they can provide for their own security as they move forward on a free and democratic future. Q Did we invade those countries? MR. McCLELLAN: Go ahead, Steve.
Q I have two questions, one on the goodwill visit of the First Lady. It looked like from the visit that she's representing well the United States and the President. She's very charming and friendly and outgoing. My question is here that there's an old saying there's always a great woman behind a successful man. How the President take this?
First, Congress must act to adopt standards for labeling a broadcast as NEWS. There is a right to a free press expressly guaranteed to each and every one of us, and yet there are no standards for corporations who brand themselves as news providers. We had standards for sitcom families and their sleeping arrangements. We have language standards for radio stations, but no news standards that define what journalistic principles must be present in order to brand as news. Second, I think we need to bring back the Fairness Doctrine which served this country well from 1949 through 1987. It simply guarantees competing viewpoints on issues of public importance. There's never been and Equal Time requirement as is widely believed. We viewed station licensees to be "public trustees" and therefore, they had an obligation to present different viewpoints on issues of public importance. License holders were also required to actively seek out stories of interest to the public and air programs addressing those issues. Thirdly, finally and most importantly, we need to protect our journalists. They must be free to report and never be penalized with lost access to the people they cover or with retribution from partisan employers. Journalists have died covering Afghanistan and Iraq in numbers that surpass the numbers of lost journalists in Viet Nam. And that is saying a lot. Coverage of Viet Nam went on in earnest for 12 years. Yet in just 2 and a half years there have been more journalists killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.