Monday, March 31, 2003
Peter Arnett fired
After initially defending their correspondent, NBC does what is right, and fires Peter Arnett:
Read the transcript.
This "interview" he granted to Iraqi TV is horrifying. He, of all people, should be aware of who controls Iraqi TV. And he, of all people, should have known that his words would be a tool for the Iraqi propaganda machine. He provided aid and comfort to our enemy, an enemy who knows no humanity. He, no doubt, emboldened many Iraqi "fighters" by going on and on about coalition "failures". That, along with him gushing about the hospitality of and freedom granted by the Iraqi government over the past 12 years, amounts to a colossal failure in judgement on his part. He should be embarrassed and ashamed, and I am thrilled I won't have to see his face on my TV any time soon (though I never had to anyway, since I watch Fox.)
For the record, I have no issue with what he said, but to whom he said it. Journalists all week have been reporting on the under-estimations of Iraqi resistance, strained supply lines, and war plan re-evaluations (many of the reports have been unsubstantiated.) But a seasoned journalist such as Mr. Arnett should have known better than to say it to Iraqi TV, essentially becoming a mouthpiece for the Iraqi regime.
What's next for Mr. Arnett? He's been fired by CNN, now NBC/MSNBC/National Geographic... perhaps Saddam has a job for him on Iraqi TV. He has enough propaganda experience to even make Saddam proud.
So find your island in the S. Pacific, Mr. Arnett, and start swimming.
It looks like the UK's Daily Mirror has the stomach for him. Big surprise. And suddenly he is sounding pretty dang snippy:
"I report the truth of what is happening in Baghdad and will not apologize for it," he told the tabloid newspaper, one of the most prominent opponents of Britain's involvement in the war.
Interesting considering his tail-between-the-legs "apology" on the Today show this morning. Oh, yes. That wasn't an apology for what he did, but an apology that it caused such a "firestorm". The guy is so clueless, he can't even comprehend the idiocy of what he did.
"I am still in shock and awe at being fired," New Zealand-born Arnett -- who won a Pulitzer prize for his Vietnam War coverage -- wrote under the banner headline "This war's NOT working."
One look at the front pages of that sorry excuse for journalism, and the pathetic "reporting" from Mr. Arnett, and it's easy to see that they were made for each other. Talk about the decline of a career. Mr. Arnett should probably choose another career path. What an embarrassment.
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