Conservatives who whine and bray that the media is presenting a distorted picture of the war may be inadvertently correct. Indeed, things are probably worse than even the darkest and most pessimistic reports.

Respected New York Times war correspondent Dexter Filkins says that Iraq has become so anarchic and dangerous that as much as “98%” of it is now off-limits to reporters.

Even worse, Filkins says, the U.S. military might be similarly isolated and out of touch. His description of the literal small army that the New York Times must deploy just to get minimal reporting done is both mind-boggling and depressing. Imagine a news organization that needs a fleet of armored cars and four-dozen machine-gunners to protect its reporters. Read the details here.