by John Hawkins | March 31, 2003 2:14 am
Holy Hanoi Jane Batman! What Is Peter Arnett Doing?!?: I just could believe what Peter Arnett said in this interview with Iraqi TV. Just look at the blatant pro-Iraqi propaganda that Arnett is spewing…
“In the interview, Arnett said his Iraqi friends tell him there is a growing sense of nationalism and resistance to what the United States and Britain are doing.
He said the United States is 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 broadcast by Iraq’s satellite television station and monitored by The Associated Press in Egypt.
Arnett said it is clear that within the United States there is growing opposition to the war and a growing challenge to President Bush about the war’s conduct.
“Our reports about civilian casualties here, about the resistance of the Iraqi forces, are going back to the United States,” he said. “It helps those who oppose the war when you challenge the policy to develop their arguments.”
After hearing that Arnett said that, you almost expect him to follow it up with, “Be strong and support our brave leader Saddam! That’s right, I said “our” brave leader! As of now, I am joining the revolution against the Imperialist oppressors! Give me an AK-47 & a suicide belt and point me towards the Yankee pigdogs! Long live Saddam, long live Saddam, Long live Saddam! Aiiiieieieieiiee!”
Even though Arnett has a checkered reputation, I have difficulty believing that he’s putting forth this sort of agitprop without having one of the Hussein clan threatening to feed his children into a shredder in front of him.
But, the fact that NBC is actually defending what Arnett said would seem to make it likely that he said it of his own free will…
“His impromptu interview with Iraqi TV was done as a professional courtesy and was similar to other interviews he has done with media outlets from around the world,” NBC News spokeswoman Allison Gollust said. “His remarks were analytical in nature and were not intended to be anything more. His outstanding reporting on the war speaks for itself.”
That is a ridiculous defense. Iraqi TV isn’t a “media outlet” in any conventional sense. To the contrary, it is government owned and controlled and is currently has no other purpose besides helping Saddam hold his regime together. Doing this sort of interview for Iraqi TV while there’s a war on would be comparable to doing a propaganda film for the Emperor of Japan during WW2.
Whatever Arnett’s motivations are, his credibility is permanently shot at this point and he will probably lose his job at MSNBC over this and that’s just what he deserves.
***Update***: Well, that didn’t take long…
“NBC fired journalist Peter Arnett on Monday, saying it was wrong for him to give an interview with state-run Iraqi TV saying that the American-led coalition’s first war plan had failed because of Iraq’s resistance. Arnett himself called the interview a “misjudgment.”
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