31 March 2003
Say goodbye, Peter
Magazine lead time can be a genuine pain in the drain, but occasionally it accidentally generates something remarkable, and far be it from me to refrain from remarks.
J. Max Robins does a weekly piece for TV Guide called "The Robins Report", and in issue #2610 (dated 5-11 April), he has an interview with "the comeback kid in Iraq," none other than the recently-canned Peter Arnett.
And some of what Arnett said might bug you almost as much as it did me. After CNN did not renew his contract:
"I was furious with Ted Turner and Tom Johnson when they threw me to the wolves after I made them billions risking my life to cover the first Gulf War. I was resentful and wanted a way to redeem myself. Now [Turner and Johnson] are gone, the Iraqis have thrown the CNN crew out of Baghdad, and I'm still here. Any satisfaction in that? Ha, ha, ha, ha."
Why was Arnett allowed to remain? He explains:
"The Iraqis have let me stay because they see me as a fellow warrior. They know I might not agree with them, but I've got their respect."
You know, Pete, this might not have been the most useful admission right about now.
This particular edition of "The Robins Report" isn't up on the TV Guide Web site as of this writing, and given the events of the last couple of days, it may never be. All the more reason to preserve it here, I'd say. It's not like they're going to reprint it in the Mirror.