The Briefing Room

Iraqnewsphobia: Arnett Says Government Shuns Truth

Peter Arnett wasn't out of work long. Only hours after Arnett was fired by NBC and National Geographic for an interview he gave Iraqi TV, Britain's Daily Mirror hired him.

He was quoted in the newspaper as saying, "I report the truth of what is happening here in Baghdad, and I will not apologize for it."

On NBC's Today, Arnett did apologize for appearing on Iraqi state-run TV and for the firestorm of criticism it caused. He praised NBC as a great news organization and said he was sorry the networks had cause to question their judgment in hiring him. He did not retract or apologize for his statements.

Missing Journalists Safe

Four journalists missing in Iraq since March 24 turned up safe in Jordan. The four are freelance photographers Molly Bingham and Johan Rydeng Spanner and Newsday correspondent Matt McAllester and photographer Moises Saman. McAllester told his editors that they had been taken from their hotel rooms, handcuffed, imprisoned and interrogated by Iraqi officials, who suspected them of being American spies. Still unaccounted for are ITN News cameraman Fred Nerac and translator Hussein Othman, who disappeared in southern Iraq March 22 after an incident that killed ITN correspondent Terry Lloyd.

Non-Embedded Geraldo Un-Non-Embeds Himself

Geraldo Rivera left the frontlines in Iraq after all. Fox News' embattled combat correspondent "volunteered" to return to Kuwait from Iraq, where he had been traveling with the 101st Airborne division. It is unclear whether he would have been required to leave, but it was understood that military leaders wished him gone. Rivera, who was an unofficial embed, was criticized after drawing a few too many lines in the sand—a map apparently divulging too much information about his unit's location. Fox said Rivera left his unit "after learning of concerns that he may have inadvertently violated the rules." A Fox spokesperson added that Fox "believes that Geraldo did not knowingly disregard the rules."

BBC Cameraman Killed

An Iranian freelancing as a cameraman for the BBC was killed and three other members of the news crew were slightly injured last week when they tripped a mine in northern Iraq. Kaveh Golestan detonated the mine while getting out of his car, the BBC's John Morrissey confirmed to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists.

'AP Is Reporting...'

AP got a big beat when White House correspondent Ron Fournier broke the news of the rescue of injured POW Private Jessica Lynch from an Iraqi hospital last week. AP was cited by CNN and others in the half-hour between Fournier's report and CENTCOM's release of the statement confirming the daring recovery. That followed AP's earlier scoop on the first suicide-bombing deaths of U.S. or British forces in the Iraq war.