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Old 03-31-2003, 12:54 PM   #1
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What was THIS guy thinking?

NBC: Arnett out after Iraqi TV interview
Monday, March 31, 2003 Posted: 11:20 AM EST (1620 GMT)
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- NBC announced Monday that both NBC and National Geographic severed their relationships with veteran war correspondent Peter Arnett.
In an interview that aired on Iraqi TV Sunday, Arnett said that the U.S. "war plan has failed because of Iraqi resistance. Now they are trying to write another war plan. Clearly, the American war planners misjudged the determination of the Iraqi forces."
On Sunday, NBC News had issued a statement supporting Arnett, saying that Arnett gave the interview to Iraqi TV as a "professional courtesy" and that his remarks "were analytical in nature and were not intended to be anything more."
But a day later, NBC issued a different statement. "It was wrong for him to grant an interview to state-run Iraqi TV, especially in a time of war."
National Geographic issued a statement that read:
"The Society did not authorize or have any prior knowledge of Arnett's television interview with Iraqi television, and had we been consulted, would not have allowed it."
The statement went on to say that Arnett's "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."
Arnett had been reporting from Baghdad for NBC News and MSNBC while on assignment for National Geographic Explorer.
Monday morning, Arnett appeared on NBC's Today Show with Today co-host Matt Lauer and apologized for his comments.
"I want to apologize to the American people for clearly making a misjudgment over the weekend by giving an interview to Iraqi television," said Arnett, who added that what he said in the interview was "what we all know about the war."
"There have been delays in implementing policy and there [have] been surprises. But clearly, by giving that interview to Iraqi television, I created a firestorm in the United States and for that I am truly sorry, Matt," he said.
During the Sunday interview, Arnett also said that Iraq had given him and other reporters a "degree of freedom which we appreciate." Iraq has expelled several journalists, including CNN's Baghdad team, and apparently has imprisoned two journalists from the New York newspaper Newsday.
Arnett is a member of the board of directors of the Committee to Protect Journalists, which is trying to locate the missing journalists.
During the Iraqi TV interview, Arnett said, "I'd like to say from the beginning that [for] the 12 years I've been coming here, I've met unfailing courtesy and cooperation, courtesy from your people and cooperation from the Ministry of Information."
Arnett told the Iraqi TV interviewer, who was dressed in an Iraqi Army uniform, that President Bush is facing a "growing challenge" about the "conduct of the war" within the United States.
"President Bush says he is concerned about the Iraqi people, but if Iraqi people are dying in numbers, then American policy will be challenged very strongly," he said. In the interview, Arnett said reports from Baghdad about civilians being killed are being shown in the United States, and "it helps those who oppose the war when you challenge the policy to develop their arguments."
He pointed out U.S. claims that civilians killed in an explosion at a downtown Baghdad market were the victims of Iraqi missiles, and that Iraq had said the missiles were definitely incoming coalition fire.
Arnett also said, "Clearly, this is a city that is disciplined, the population is responsive to the government's requirements of discipline," and "Iraqi friends tell me there is a growing sense of nationalism and resistance to what the United States and Britain [are] doing."
The longtime war correspondent, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting during the Vietnam War and reported on the Persian Gulf War for CNN in 1991, said U.S. war planners miscalculated the will of Iraqis and he does "not understand how that happened."
He said his reports "would tell the Americans about the determination of the Iraqi forces, the determination of the government and the willingness to fight for their country."
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Old 03-31-2003, 12:57 PM   #2
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Gotta love "Baghdad" Pete
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Old 03-31-2003, 01:37 PM   #3
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No question, the guy used crummy judgment. "Baghdad Pete". OK........
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Old 03-31-2003, 02:48 PM   #4
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Arnett earned the nickname "Baghdad" Pete back in '91.
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Old 03-31-2003, 03:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
Arnett earned the nickname "Baghdad" Pete back in '91.
Yeah, I have vague memories of the first Iraqi war, and I remember Arnett's commentaries from that conflict.
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Old 03-31-2003, 03:48 PM   #6
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Is Baghdad Pete related to the Scud Stud?
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Old 03-31-2003, 06:10 PM   #7
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unemployed pete
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Old 03-31-2003, 07:28 PM   #8
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Unemployed for half a day. Britain's Daily Mirror has already hired him.
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Old 03-31-2003, 07:54 PM   #9
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shows what a joke they are, they meaning the British paper that hired him
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Old 03-31-2003, 09:51 PM   #10
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shows what a joke they are, they meaning the British paper that hired him
Moral of story: go to the "right" city, give an interview to the "right" people, and you can get hired by a tabloid, too.
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Old 04-01-2003, 01:25 AM   #11
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Interesting how other US media has been kicked out of Baghdad. The only view we get now is sanitized (pro-Iraqi). Yet Pete gets to stay......
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Old 04-01-2003, 09:12 AM   #12
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nbcrusader:

I just heared of the CNN reporters kicked out of Baghdad, who else?

Is there any statement why they were thrown out of the country?

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Old 04-01-2003, 11:13 AM   #13
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MSNBC reported that CNN and Fox News have been kicked out. Most of the feeds from Baghdad appear to be Al Jazeera or a channel out of Abu Dhabi.
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Old 04-03-2003, 09:40 AM   #14
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nbcrusader:
An Al Jazeera Journalist was kicked out of the country too.

To CNN and Fox News were all reporters kicked out of the country or "selective" like in Al Jazeera's case?
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Old 04-03-2003, 10:37 AM   #15
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I heard it was only Geraldo Rivera who was kicked out from Fox-the Pentagon wants him out.

A friend told me she saw Geraldo drawing a diagram in the sand of the location of the troops he was embedded with

I think Geraldo's mission there is all about Geraldo-but isn't it always?
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