NBC Fires Arnett

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by MacFan25, Mar 31, 2003.

  1. MacFan25 macrumors 68000

    MacFan25

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    #1
    NBC has fired Peter Arnett for comments he made on state-run Iraqi television.

    http://www.entertainmenttonight.com/newslink/index.htm

    Here's the story:

    NBC FIRES ARNETT
    March 31, 2003 | PETER ARNETT appeared on NBC's "Today" show and apologized to the network and the American people for his comments on state-run Iraqi television. The comments also cost Arnett his job both with NBC and National Geographic. "Today" co-anchor MATT LAUER read a statement from NBC announcing they had cut ties with Arnett, saying, "It was wrong for Mr. Arnett to grant an interview to state-controlled Iraqi television, especially at a time of war. And it was wrong for him to discuss personal observations and opinions in that interview." The maelstrom began yesterday during what Arnett has termed an impromptu interview with state-run Iraqi TV. During the sit-down Arnett said America's first war plan failed because it misjudged the Iraqi resistance and determination and he added that the U.S. is reappraising the battlefield and delaying the war for up to a week while writing another plan.
     
  2. jelloshotsrule macrumors G3

    jelloshotsrule

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    #2
    it's too bad he said those things. i would probably agree that they kinda fuel the fire of the iraqis, which could actually cause a tougher fight and thus more deaths. however, it sucks to lose him. it seems like he's one of the more objective journalists out there....
     
  3. MrMacMan macrumors 604

    MrMacMan

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    #3
    Wow that sucks.

    I just read an Newday article about him and how NBC was sticking with him, what BS.
     
  4. Vector macrumors 6502a

    Vector

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    #4
    National Geographic, for whom he was also working, fired him today. Arnett had this coming in my opinion. He did a good job in vietnam, but his pulitzer has gone to his head. In 1998, i believe, he reported that the US used saarin gas on a Vietnamese village in the vietnam war, but the story was later retracted by CNN, who he was working for at the time. Arnett tends to report his opinions and feelings on the subject rather than the actual news, and has been chastised many times for it by fellow journalists and journalistic ethicists. What he did was not sanctioned by his employer, NBC, and he should have known better than to go on Iraqi state televison in order to feed the propoganda machine. As i said, this is not the first time he has been fired for this type of thing he has a history of it; he was fired by CNN and another media outlet either FOX or CBS i think. Either way, this is at least his 4th time being fired from a major media company for actions that were against journalistic ethics (yes, i know that sounds like an oxymoron) and common sense.

    I am not saying that journalists are not supposed to express their opinions, but there are certain times and places when they are not appropriate. Arnett should have known better than to, as a naturalized american citizen, appear on the state run propoganda outlet of a hostile nation and give fodder to the enemy. Arnett was in baghdad to report for nbc and national geographic in a professional manner not to give hope to the opposition or to spread his opinion to the arab world.

    I do not deny or affirm Arnett's comments, but his words where improper in the given situation. Arnett, in a poor effort to apologize for his actions, appeared on nbc and said that he was wrong in saying what he said in that situation, but he then said that he only said what everyone in america knew about the war plans. This makes his apology seem forced and insincere, and whether what he said was right or not he should have know better and thus the consequences of his illderived litany are justified.
     
  5. Vector macrumors 6502a

    Vector

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    #5
    NBC had originally defended his statements, but due to the reaction caused by them it was decided today by Shapiro to fire Arnett. CNN and FOX ran the comments many times since they first appeared, and this was beginning to show Arnett as highly anti-american and thus NBC by association. It was in NBC's best interest to get rid of him, and it is Arnett's own fault for his removal. NBC was supporting him at first and had released a statement to that effect, but once the boss (Shapiro) came in on monday he was a angry enough at Arnett's words and the fact that the interview was unsanctioned by NBC to fire the reporter.

    I have not watched his comments during this war save this recent interview, but from the other reports of his i have seen Arnett is hardly objective. I am not saying that the other journalists are objective, but his reports on vietnam, the persian gulf, and a few other reports seem slanted and many have a highly opinionated tone and are inflammatory. Again i have watched none of his reports from this war, but from this interview it appears he still tends to report his opinion rather the the news.

    It is too bad that he said these things, but he has experienced this type of reaction to his reports before and should have learned from his previous firings and should have known better in the first place. I agree that his interview, especially given the state televison's ability to edit his comments to their goal, was improper and could potentially incite a stiffer resistance not necessarily to tthe iraqis, but to the citizens of other arab nations. Iraq has a satellite televison channel that is sent throughout the arab world and there local state television is replayed through al jazeera and abu dhabi. This could feed the anti-american feeling that has caused people in jordan and syria to come fight in defense of their 'fellow muslim nation'.
     
  6. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #6
    Arnett has just been hired by the Daily Mirror, an anti-war tabloid in the UK.
     
  7. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #7
    His comments hurt the war effort. It was exactly the type of thing the Iraqis would want to hear and I imagine its going to be played over again and again. In the end it will probably end up directly prolonging the war in some way and causing more deaths, but we'll never be able to know how much the it will affect things.

    As a journalist he got personally involved, big mistake. He should have known better. I'm glad that NBC and National Geo let him go. I just hope he doesn't decide to stay on with the Iraqis and do more interviews. :mad: :confused:

    D
     
  8. Vector macrumors 6502a

    Vector

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    #8
    Exactly. I am not sure how much negative effect it will have for the US and its allies, as it is something impossible to quantify, but it is far from helpful.

    I heard a report that he was leaving baghdad. He said something to the effect of he would swim back to his island (new zealand) immediatly if he could.

    Skunk: Does the Daily Mirror have much credibility. You call it a tabloid, but how much attention is given to them in Britain.
     
  9. NavyIntel007 macrumors 65816

    NavyIntel007

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    #9
    They should revoke his US citizenship saying that yes you do have freedom of speech but it only applies when you're in the US.
     
  10. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #10
    Somewhat more cred than The Sun, Murdoch's pro-war rag.

    Surely you guys can take a little honesty without demanding he lose his citizenship? Is there only one point of view? Chill out...
     
  11. Vector macrumors 6502a

    Vector

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    #11
    I like the sun its funny.

    I do not argue with his statement nor do a completely agree with it, but under the circumstances it was wholly incompetent and irresponsible. I can take honesty; however, Arnett was not being honest he was espousing his own personal opinions on the propogandas outlet of a nation that we are at war with. Arnett was sent to deliver the news from baghdad for NBC and National Geographic. I could not care less where Arnett goes after he leaves Baghdad, or his status as a US citizen.
     
  12. Thanatoast macrumors 6502a

    Thanatoast

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    #12
    But was he wrong? I mean, a week ago everyone thought the regime would collapse like a...um...really flimsy collapsy thing. He was just saying what he saw. It must suck to get fired for speaking the truth, no matter how "inappropriate" or "unpatriotic".
     
  13. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #13
    That's bull. The gov't'd just be able to send any American down to Guantanamo (under Patriot Act II) and try them for treason for expressing their rights.

    Yea for fascism!
     
  14. marcsiry macrumors member

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    #14
    arnett was fired because he overstepped his professional boundaries...

    ...not for "freedom of speech," or "censorship."

    As a journalist, he is suppossed to exhibit a modicum of impartiality. It's even more important that he do so while reporting from Baghdad, where it is widely known that journalists are under strict gov't control (they say so at the beginning of each dispatch).

    Arnett displayed a opinion, rather than plainly reporting facts- and did so in the worst possible venue, a state-arranged interview. This is the double whammy- he looked all the world like a prisoner of war, denoncing his country at the behest of his captors. However, Arnett was doing so voluntarily!

    That's not news, that's Op-Ed. Plenty of people are talking like that all over TV and none of them are losing their jobs, or their citizenship. Arnett just had special circumstances- and incredibly bad judgement.
     
  15. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #15
    Now Arnett has been hired by a British Tabloid....

    http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/03/31/sprj.irq.arnett/index.html

    The tabloid's banner headline Tuesday said: "Fired by America for telling the truth ... hired by Daily Mirror to carry on telling it."

    Piers Morgan, an editor for the Daily Mirror, told CNN, "Peter is one of the most respected journalists in the world, and we are delighted he is joining us to expose the truth about a war increasingly dominated by propaganda."


    I wonder how long he'll last? Its not about propaganda, but this is the sensationalism that the tabloids love. Pathetic. :rolleyes:

    D
     
  16. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #16
    Please see my post just before your last one....
    And aren't you being a bit partisan for a Moderator? The Mirror is a relatively "serious" tabloid, which has had a consistently anti-war stance. Nothing "pathetic" about that.
     
  17. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #17
    Well, as far as I know there are no serious tabloids in the US that I know of, so sorry for the misunderstanding.

    As for Op-Ed - that's fine, but as someone who's working for NBC and NatGeo he has a responsibility not to take sides and leave his personal opinions out of it. Like I said in an earlier post to this thread, his actions will have an adverse affect on the war. I'd just like to see an end to the war now that we've started, and anything that can prolong it is unfortunate and should be avoided.

    As for it being pathetic, well, it still is. Regardless on whether its a serious tabloid or not, they're sensationalizing the news themselves if you read the article.

    As a moderator I make sure things run smoothly here. I'm still allowed my own opinions and they don't have anymore weight than anyone other member. If you don't like what I say, that's fine.

    D
     
  18. Kid Red macrumors 65816

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    #18
    That line kills me, 'fired for telling the truth'. Ah no, he was fired for voicing his opinion [not fact which iw what reporters are supposed to do] to the enemy on their propagand TV about how negative the war is and how crappy the war plan is. That's just fuel to the iRaqy anti-war/US fire and who knows how they will spin it.

    Sorry, but what happend to Fonda after she visiteed Viet Nam? Not the same, but you don't critize your country's military during war time to the fricking enemy.
     
  19. kiwi_the_iwik macrumors 65816

    kiwi_the_iwik

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    #19
    So - the Tabloid Trash picked him up, eh?!?

    I'd be very surprised if I don't see him crop up on some british 24-hour news station soon.

    He'd be a good catch - aside from his recent faux pas with his "loose cannon" statements, he's always been respected as a journalist.

    Your loss is our gain...

    ;)
     
  20. Stelliform macrumors 68000

    Stelliform

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    #20
    More than happy to oblige!! :D I personally am glad that public figures are learning that they have to take responcibility for voicing their opinions.

    OK, I'll say it, for example, the Dixie Chicks. One of them expressed anti-war opinions and they had some repercussions. I know she has a right to say those things, but she just made herself unappealing to half of her fans. Would she shave her head or put on 200 pounds? I doubt it, so I have no idea why she went shooting her mouth off..

    OK, my hollywood rant is over... :)
     
  21. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

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    #21
    I heard it was because she said she was ashamed that GWB was from Texas...
     
  22. Stelliform macrumors 68000

    Stelliform

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    #22
    Oh yeah, that was it. But do you see my point? As entertainers they need to be appealing. This was probably hashed out on some other thread by now, so I will leave it at that. :) But if anybody wants to do some re hashing.....
     
  23. runningman macrumors regular

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    #23
    Maybe him and Geraldo can hang out. Then they both can act as human shields.
     
  24. xxall macrumors newbie

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    #24
    I write from Spain, a country "friendly" whit
    USA. 91 % people in Spain is against the war,
    (oficial numbers). Please all good american people, fight 4 true... Keep on seraching 4 true...
    Yesterday fragmentation bombs (currently prohibited for UN) impact over...and it´s true.
     
  25. bennyek macrumors regular

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    #25
    I'm glad they fired his ass. This guy's reports bugged me. he always seemed so cocky and into himself
     

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