The Jan. 15 U.N. deadline for Iraq's withdrawal from Kuwait has made local coverage of the Persian Gulf crisis a hot topic for Madison's network affiliates, notes contributing writer Laura Stempel Mumford. "Barely a newscast goes by without a story on area reserve unit call-ups, a profile of someone leaving for active duty, a feature on the disruption of small-town life or, more rarely, footage of an antiwar rally." According to Channel 3 news director Tom Bier, "the biggest struggle is, how do you not lead with it every night?" The reaction of viewers has been mostly positive and infrequent. "Bier thinks the lack of response may come from the fact that viewers aren't yet really polarized over the Gulf situation," notes Mumford. "He may be right, but that's sure to change if the U.S. actually goes to war against Iraq." He was right, and so was she.