A few interesting tidbits today:
Peter Arnett has been fired from National Geographic and NBC’s coverage of the war for a statement he made in an interview with Iraqi television. Evidently, he told the Iraqis that the U.S. war plan had been unsuccessful.
In the Iraqi TV interview, Arnett said his Iraqi friends had told him that there was a growing sense of nationalism and resistance to what the United States and Britain were doing.
He said the United States was reappraising the battlefield and delaying the war, maybe for a week, “and rewriting the war plan. The first war plan has failed because of Iraqi resistance. Now they are trying to write another war plan.”
“Clearly, the American war plans misjudged the determination of the Iraqi forces,” Arnett said during the interview, which was broadcast by Iraq’s satellite television station and monitored by The AP in Egypt.
Does anyone, pro- or anti-war, think that a) this was a smart thing to say or b) he should have never been on Iraqi TV to begin with? Arnett is an ass.
Next, Geraldo Rivera has been ousted from his “embedded” position, also for not watching his mouth. CNN is giddy about this blow to Fox News Channel.
In the broadcast, Rivera instructed his photographer to tilt the camera down to the sand in front of his feet so that he could draw a map.
The Fox correspondent then outlined a map of Iraq, and showed the relative location of Baghdad and his location with the 101st Airborne unit.
Rivera then continued with his sandy diagram to illustrate where the 101st would be going next.
“He went down in the sand and drew where the forces are going,” said a stunned senior military official. “He gave away the big picture stuff.”
Perhaps he could next report live from the Kuwait City Hooters franchise. Geraldo is an ass.
And finally: U.S. troops today killed 7 women and children when the vehicle they were driving did not stop at a checkpoint as ordered. A horrible incident, and I will not debate whether the action was justified. What I will debate is whether the media should be reporting it. It was briefly touched on tonight on ABC news with no in-depth report, and I can find few mentions on various news sites. It’s certainly not one of the highlighted stories of the day. I can find nothing at all about it on MSNBC. Yet, the BBC has the story and the Pentagon has acknowledged that it happened. The BBC presented a Marine Corps spokesman who spoke about the harsh realities of war. I can find no other outlet who took the time to investigate the issue. [Update: NBC Nightly News tonight had a full report on the incident.] [Update 2: I obviously spoke too soon on this one. Now the reports are starting to appear. Perhaps the BBC was quicker on the uptake than other outlets? A Washington Post story is the most in-depth yet that I’ve found. They are saying 10 killed.]
Did we really think that with embedded journalists and round-the-clock briefings from a state-of-the-art media center, we’d get the truth?