Strange every press and media personality I saw was an expert within a day of arrival. Green zone mafia, who couldn't get back to their booze and computer terminals fast enough. They seldom stayed the night in a real CZ.
Journalists are well read. They study their topics thoroughly. Foreign correspondents are a tight knit group, like you and your platoon. They knew a lot before they ever landed or they wouldn't be good journalists. Like you were, foreign correspondents are always far from home, friends, wives, husbands, kids, their normal lives. Like you were. Because of those circumstances their friends are those they work with on a daily basis, all of them usually half a globe away from home. Like you and your compatriots. You drank with your pals, they drank with theirs.
I did a ton of USO shows all over the world when I was younger. Hotspots included. We were welcomed onto the bases, to the camps, and sometimes remote locations in the middle of nowhere with 20 guys. Were reporters free to hang with you at your camp and have a beer? Maybe sometimes, maybe not. Did you ever offer to have a beer with one of the reporters at 'your place' or 'theirs?' If so, and they turned you down, could it have been because they were exhausted and yet still had to meet a deadline for their employers? Maybe another time would have worked if you could coordinate it?
Prejudice (pre-judging) is: "contempt prior to investigation." Did you ever make an effort or did your preconceived notions about what you assumed was them putting on 'airs?' Is it possible the reporters you mentioned who'd been there one day were incredibly exhausted after long flights, their bodies out of whack in a whole different time zone, just trying to stay upright?
You may have missed out on some great times before you ever spent an hour over a beer with any of them. Just sayin' ...