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More on Peter Arnett

Here is the MSNBC report on the firing of Arnett, and here is the FOX News report (which is a bit more full and useful). And here is the transcript of the Iraqi TV interview from CNN. I saw parts of the interview last night (both FOX and CNN aired parts of it) and was not amused. I came across Arnett being interviewed on NBC this morning where he apologized and grovelled and Matt Lauer made clear (regretfully) in the process of the interview that he was let go by NBC. I was pleased to hear this. What Arnett did was an outrage, in my opinion. But it is also worth noting that he is a reflection of a certain kind of ideological reporter (and ideological academic, I might add). He doesn’t really have any understanding of what he is reporting on, or, if he does, it is permeated with a plain and simple anti-American bias. Arnett thinks that the USA is the cause of the all the mischief in the world, and that every two-bit tyrant and his cut-throat regime ought to be praised. I am glad he is gone but do you want to bet that he will not be unemployed for long? How about giving him a chair at Columbia and then maybe he can have some like-minded conversations with professors of anthropology who would like Americans killed in the war, the more the merrier. Here is Andrew Sullivan’s column (in full) from Salon
on that anthropology professor who called for a "million Mogadishus" and other fifth column elements, and how it is that they cannot distinguish between Saddam and Hitler and Bush. A good read.  

Discussions - 3 Comments

According to Fox News, Peter Arnett, was hired by the Daily Mirror.

I rarely respond to Dr. Schramm’s postings - even when I disagree with what he’s saying - because I typically find his comments to be reasonable, rooted in truth, and, at times, quite persuasive. I generally prefer to reserve my comments for those bloggers whose rantings border on the ridiculous.

That said, I find it necessary to object to the good doctor’s analysis of the Peter Arnett situation.

For those of you who haven’t seen the interview, Arnett’s offending comments were:

"That is why now America is re-appraising the battlefield, delaying the war, maybe a week, and re-writing the war plan. The first war plan has failed because of Iraqi resistance now they are trying to write another war plan."

Oooohh... how awful.

Look, Arnett’s comments were stupid. I think even he would (or has) acknowledge that. But he’s hardly the first person to say something dumb about the war. And these comments hardly qualify him as being anti-American, as Dr. Schramm has suggested (and which Mackubin T. Owens echoes in his article.)

Dr. Schramm states:

"He doesn’t really have any understanding of what he is reporting on, or, if he does, it is permeated with a plain and simple anti-American bias. Arnett thinks that the USA is the cause of the all the mischief in the world, and that every two-bit tyrant and his cut-throat regime ought to be praised."

Reeaaallyyy.... Now how do you know this, Dr. Schramm? Did Mr. Arnett telephone you and tell you this, or have you invented some sort of device that enables you to read his thoughts? When, specifically, has Arnett said "that the USA is the cause of all the mischief in the world, and that every two-bit tyrant and his cut-throat regime ought to be praised"?

Arnett - like anyone else - is entitled to his opinion. It was unwise of him to grant the interview to the Saudi tv station, but that error aside, he didn’t do or say anything that was inappropriate. In fact, the only difference between Arnett and pro-war goons like Bill O’Reilly is that Arnett’s opinion is not the popular view at this point. I can assure Dr. Schramm and Mr. Owens that Mr. Arnett did not become one of the most respected (and Pulitzer prize-winning) journalists in the world by embracing tyrants and launching verbal attacks on America at every possible opportunity.

One final note... I’m getting REALLY tired of seeing the anti-war crowd being defined by the actions of a handful of fools, such as the anthropology professor referenced above.

99.9% of anti-war advocates are reasonable and thoughtful people. We resist the idea of war while still being supportive of the efforts of our troops. To continue to cite examples such as the "million Mogadishus" comment in an effort to paint the entire anti-war crowd as a bunch of lunatic liberals is unfair and ignorant. It’s also no more accurate than for me to say that the views of a all pro-war advocates qualify them as right-wing fanatics.

No coffee for you, Dr. Schramm... no coffee for you.

Incidentally, a number of news outlets are pointing out today that the Pentagon’s war plan is being heavily criticized by a number of officers on the Iraqi battlefield.

Perhaps Arnett wasn’t so far off the target after all...

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