Peter Arnett was cut loose from NBC and MSNBC because of his interview on Iraqi state TV. NBC went from calling it a “professional courtesy” to his “colleagues” at the Iraqi propaganda machine to saying it was wrong for him to appear on the network in wartime and express his opinions. Arnett was on the “Today” show and said it was a “misjudgment.”
It was more than. I think the next step is for the Justice Department to investigate whether Arnett gave aid and comfort to the enemy. I’m tired of all these journalists running around making some kind of moral equivalency and ignoring their duties to the truth and the law.
By the way, remember these gems about Arnett?:
[In 1991] He was denounced for his reporting about an allied bombing of a baby milk factory in Baghdad that the military said was a biological weapons plant. The American military responded vigorously to the suggestion it had targeted a civilian facility, but Arnett stood by his reporting that the plant’s sole purpose was to make baby formula. … Arnett was the on-air reporter of the 1998 CNN report that accused American forces of using sarin gas on a Laotian village in 1970 to kill U.S. defectors. Two CNN employees were sacked and Arnett was reprimanded over the report, which the station later retracted. Arnett ultimately left the network.
Update: National Geographic has been very unequivocal in its disavowal of Arnett. “National Geographic has terminated the service of Peter Arnett. 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. 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.” Very straightforward. There must have been a lot of other people who joined me in outrage.
Did you see Arnett on Today this morning? I saw a replay of it. Typical liberal mush. He didn’t apologize for a misstatement or error in facts or that he did anything wrong. He was sorry that he upset people, but he claimed he was saying what everybody knew anyway. Is Arnett getting all his news from Iraqi state TV? He can stay there for all I care.