Bad breaks for Iraqi war correspondents Peter Arnett and Geraldo Rivera.
FOX News correspondent Rivera, 59, is expected to be pulled from Iraq after he broadcast a report Sunday night providing detailed positions and plans of American troops, military officials (who apparently put pressure on FOX to have him removed) tell The New York Times.
“We have been in contact with the news organization,” Bryan G. Whitman, deputy assistant secretary of defense for media relations, tells the paper. “They are taking it very seriously, and we will make the appropriate determination once we have been able to evaluate all the facts here.”
Should FOX not remove Rivera, the military will, reports The Times. A spokesman for the network said, “We are in contact with the Pentagon and we are looking into the matter.”
Rivera told the paper that he will not be removed. A military spokesman insists he will be.
As for the Pulitzer Prize-winning Arnett, the British tabloid Daily Mirror said Tuesday it has hired him shortly after he was fired by NBC for saying in an unauthorized interview on Iraqi television that the American-led war effort had failed.
“I am still in shock and awe at being fired,” Arnett wrote for the paper, which is vehemently opposed to the war. “I report the truth of what is happening here in Baghdad and will not apologize for it.”
Speaking Monday on NBC’s “Today” show, a contrite Arnett said he wanted to apologize to the American people.
“I gave some personal observations, some analytical observations, which I don’t think are out of line with what experts think,” he said. “But clearly I misjudged the firestorm.”