: The anti-war, anti-America, anti-Bush, anti-our-side Mirror hires Baghdad tool Peter Arnett.

He backtracks on his abject, nearly tearful apologies of this morning and now acts all defiant again:

After his sacking, Pulitzer Prize winner Arnett said:

  • John

    You’ve really got to be self-absorbed to give an abject apology before Matt Lauer and the rest of the nation at 7 a.m. and then come back and release this statement through the Mirror less than 12 hours later. No U.S. network will ever touch hime again after this, since he didn’t even allow his near-tearful, soul-wrenching mea culpa to fade into memory before revealing the whole thing was bogus.
    It will be interesting to see how NBC plays it on the Today Show come Tuesday morning, given the phony act of contrition Peter put on for Monday’s show. News organizations usually don’t like to be played for chumps in front of 20 million people by their own former employees, even if there are some folks in the news department who might secretly agree with some of Arnett’s rantings. If the NBC brass knows of anything else Peter might have done that would be embarrassing, they might let it slip just to make his arrival at the Mirror a little more problematic.

  • Peter Arnett wasn’t fired for reporting on what’s happening in Baghdad. He was fired for offering his (pro-Saddam) opinions on things he had no chance to observe: the nature of the fighting in central and southern Iraq, the quality of U.S. war plans, etc.

  • “There is enormous sensitivity within the US government to reports coming out from Baghdad.
    They don’t want credible news organisations reporting from here because it presents them with enormous problems.”
    Funny…it wasn’t the *Americans* who evicted CNN from Baghdad, was it? (Then again, to the far left, CNN is just a tool of the military-industrial complex. Only the Mirror, CounterPunch and Al-Jazeera are *real* news sources.)

  • Rollerball

    Arnett: “…will not apologize for it.”
    Umm, didn’t he already apologize for it?
    And I don’t think very many folks really consider MSNBC to be a credible news org any more.

  • Joanne, what you say may well be true but the same applies to many who spout pro-Bush opinions. Surely Peter Arnett has as good a right to voice his opinions as anyone else? And while he may be criticised for it and attacked on grounds of substance, surely sacking him contravenes the First Amendment? Or is the amendment suspended at wartime?

  • Rhesa

    Carla, in case you hadn’t noticed, he spouted his opinion on IRAQI TV, in BAGHDAD. I don’t really think it’s a matter of applying the First Amendment in Arnett’s case because he didn’t even say any of this drivel on American television – unless you think that our rights hold any value overseas, in enemy territory to boot.

  • Otter

    Try reading the First Amendment sometime. You seem to have a vastly exaggerated sense of what it guarantees.

  • John Irving

    the First Amendment protects speech from government interference only. Private citizens, which includes corporations, may react to your speech in whatever legal way they see fit, which includes responding with counter-arguments, terminating your contracts, boycotting your products, and even being childish and calling you names. They may not react legally by threatening you with bodily harm, inflicting such harm on you, or on your property, among other acts barred by law.
    Peter Arnett claims to be a reported, yet his statements to the Iraqi media were demonstrably false, and therefore are not journalism, but instead aid and comfort to an enemy of the United States. Prime example, he claimed that a growing majority in the US opposed the war, when in fact polls show the exact opposite happening. So the only reason for this statement was to encourage the Iraqi leadership to hold out, continue the fighting, and inflict more casualties on our side, innocent civilians, and in the final tally their own side. Hence ‘aid and comfort.’

  • Sgt. Freiwilliger

    Whatever he was in a past life, Peter Arnett ceased being a journalist long ago, by any accepted definition of the word. In Baghdad, according to other journalists, he was seen as something of a toady, getting special privileges from the Iraqi government. Not surprising, given his predisposition to act as mouthpiece for the Iraqi government . . . an act he perfected in Gulf War I (or was it II . . . well, the Desert Storm thing).
    In his pathetic attempt to regain some relevance, he is now scraping the bottom of the barrel . . . selling his name to the last few media outlets that can stomach him.

  • Otter, John, Rhesa
    Arnett had his right as an American to say what he thought. That what he said was a capital sin against journalism, that I agree with – and it would have been a capital sin even if he had made enthusiastic pro-Bush statements. That it may have been utter drivel, that I could concede. But he had the right to say it – in Baghdad or anywhere else. And the fact that he was fired because NBC et al didn’t like what he said (please let’s not forget that NBC stood by him at the beginning and gave in at a later stage when it started to worry about losing potential viewers) seems to me at odds with the first amendment. The first amendment guarantees freedom of press and has been interpreted in the wide sense of the law in the past by protecting the right to free speech from impediments whether or not they come from the government. I stand by it. Firing Arnett for what he said was unfair.

  • John Irving

    Carla, nobody from the government got Peter Arnett fired, except in the sense that the American public is its own government. But the Federal system did nothing to Peter Arnett did, he got treated the same as supporters of racism, Nazism, and all the other reasons people use for boycotts. Are you proposing a ban on boycotts, considering the use boycotts have been put to in this country as free expression? You also extend American freedoms to the world, whether they accept the responsibilities for these freedoms or not (as Iraq’s ruling party most surely does not). Therefore, are sanctions against rogue nations, nations who violate human rights, or, to use a past example, nations who promote apartheid thusly also banned by your doctrine? We’d either be fighting a lot more wars or watching the list of free nations grow dismally short, rather than growing as it has.
    But I do agree it is unfair to merely fire Peter Arnett. As Article III, Section 3 of the US Constitution states:
    Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court
    He should face trial for “adhering to and providing aid and comfort” to the enemy, as even you acknowledge he wasn’t speaking as a journalist. There are a sufficiency of witnesses to his crime (more than two people watched his propoganda tape), which wasn’t merely speaking out, but lying to give comfort to the Iraqi leadership and their armed forces. His words, untrue as they are, embolden the Iraqi military, further extending the loss of life in this war.
    But we are a nation that forgives and forgets, even if only a little. So he can remain across the Atlantic and produce drivel for the Mirror. He should count himself lucky.