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Monday, February 16, 2004


NBC’s CHEAP SHOT 

He’ll never report in this town again – Dr. Bob Arnot’s story

The New York Observer’s Joe Hagan wrote an excellent article, “Dr. Bob Arnot’s parting shot,” about the media’s interpretation of what is happening in Iraq and specifically what one network did to a reporter.

According to the story, NBC did not renew Dr. Bob Arnot’s contract last December. Which really means he was fired. The versatile journalist had been reporting extensively from Iraq, detailing the daily lives of Iraqis and how they are trying to rebuild their Saddam-torn country. NBC was not pleased with the positive message that Arnot’s reports were conveying back to America. Instead of complying with an elite media network’s attempt to characterize Operation: Iraqi Freedom as a quagmire, Arnot showed that there are many positive stories emerging from the war.

NBC News president Neil Shapiro was so dissatisfied with Arnot’s upbeat reporting that he refused to have the intrepid reporter’s dispatches air on NBC in the waning months of Arnot’s contract.

Arnot wrote an e-mail to Shapiro, taking issue with the way that NBC was portraying the American led efforts to improve Iraq.

Most tellingly, Arnot asked his boss why positive Iraqi stores were not being accepted at NBC News. He wrote to Shapiro, "As you know, I have regularly pitched most of these stories contained in the note to Nightly, Today and directly to you. Every single story has been rejected."

Hagan wrote “NBC sources said that when the statue of Saddam Hussein was toppled in Baghdad, Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw declined to put Dr. Arnot on the air, even though he was the sole NBC reporter on the scene.”

This was an excellently written article and I encourage all of you to read it.

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