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CNN reporter hangs on in Afghanistan

CNN Correspondent Nic Robertson is struggling with Taliban leaders to remain in Afghanistan and cover what may well turn into a military conflict with the United States.

Robertson is the only Western reporter in the Taliban-controlled part of Afghanistan. CNN has another crew in the smaller portion of the country controlled by rebels. The Taliban on Sunday ordered all foreigners out of Afghanistan, possibly denying Robertson his chance to be this decade's Peter Arnett.

CNN News President Eason Jordan said that Robertson travelled from the nation's capital Kabul to Kandahar where the Taliban leadership resides. He pressed the network's case that no one will air their side of the story if CNN is expelled. Jordan spent time on the phone with a Taliban minister Monday.

He noted that CNN "has had a long commitment to covering Afghanistan," while other U.S. networks dip in and out only when there's big news. Jordan wouldn't predict whether the Taliban would be swayed. "We're dealing with unusual leaders in Afganistan," Jordan said.
- John M. Higgins