AMERICAN MEDIA: I made some disparaging remarks earlier about unpatriotic "American" media, and so I wanted to point out the recent Peter Arnett situation to stand in contrast to my previous remarks. NBC, MSNBC, and National Geographic Explorer have fired him "after the journalist told state-run Iraqi TV that the U.S.-led coalition's initial war plan had failed and that reports from Baghdad about civilian casualties had helped antiwar protesters undermine the Bush administration’s strategy."

"IT WAS wrong for Mr. Arnett to grant an interview to state controlled Iraqi TV — especially at a time of war — and it was wrong for him to discuss his personal observations and opinions in that interview," NBC News President Neal Shapiro said in a statement. "Therefore, Peter Arnett will no longer be reporting for NBC News and MSNBC."

National Geographic, for whom Arnett first traveled to Baghdad, said it too had "terminated the service of Peter Arnett."

"The Society did not authorize or have any prior knowledge of Arnett’s television interview with Iraqi television," it said in a statement, "and had we been consulted, would not have allowed it. His decision to grant an interview and express his personal views on state controlled Iraqi television, especially during a time of war, was a serious error in judgment and wrong."

NBC originally backed Arnett's interview (purely on reflex, no doubt), but then higher-ups changed the company's position and fired him amidst widespread criticism. Giving an interview to Saddam-controlled Iraqi TV was stupid enough, but the nature of his remarks were additionally despicable and will likely directly lead to many Iraqi civilian deaths.



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