Tuesday, December 05, 2006

NBC's Richard Engel Justifies Green Zone Reporting

NewsBusters has the story. NBC correspondent Richard Engel, who last week told the Nightly News audience that Iraq had "collapsed," complained to Howard Kurtz on CNN's "Reliable Sources" that reporters were endangering themselves because of conservative critics:
Howard Kurtz: "Richard Engel, top administration officials, as you well know, have repeatedly criticized correspondents like you for painting an unnecessarily negative picture of what's going on in Iraq, staying in the Green Zone, and all of that. Now that this -- even the private doubts and reservations of the White House and the Pentagon are coming out, do you feel vindicated?"

Richard Engel: "No. It's been very frustrating all along to be at the receiving end of that criticism with acquisitions like we just spend all of our time in the Green Zone....It's also, in some degree, dangerous. I mean, I know reporters, colleagues of mine who have received so much criticism over the last three and a half, four years, that they felt they've had something to prove. And so they put themselves in extraordinarily dangerous situations. And I know one reporter who was kidnapped as a result of it. So it's not a sense of vindication, but it is good that people are finally starting to see that the situation in Iraq is tremendously difficult, and it is not just reporters who are looking for bad -- bad news stories."
Got that? Conservative and administration critics are endangering reporters by calling them on slanted and faked news.

Here's a tip for you Richard, and you don't have to leave your Green Zone hotel bar to take advantage: go here. This is the official CENTCOM page. In the right sidebar you'll see a link called "Press Releases." Here you'll find all the stories that you and your "journalist" comrades never, ever give any air time to. Each week there are scores of stories about Coalition operations, dead and captured terrorists, weapons caches discovered and destroyed, even US casualty lists for you to gloat over - maybe you could start a trend, reporting everything that's happening in Iraq instead of just the stories that our enemies and the Democrats want reported.

It's even easier than getting stories from al Qaeda moles, like the Associated Press.