Honesty: The Worst Policy

When NBC — which is owned by General Electric, a prime military-industrial complex contractor — decided to fire Peter Arnett for the thought crime of plain speaking, it was undoubtedly responding both to pressure from the White House (which accused Arnett of “pandering” to the Iraqis) and to the imperatives of its MSNBC ratings chase against the gung-ho, pro-war frothers of Fox News.

What provoked Arnett’s defenestration? In an interview he accorded on Sunday to Iraqi television (which an MSNBC spokesperson initially described as a “professional courtesy”), Arnett allowed as how media reports of civilian casualties in Iraq “help” the “growing challenge to President Bush about the conduct of the war and also opposition to the war. The first war plan has failed because of Iraqi resistance. Now they are trying to write another plan.”

“The Americans don’t want the independent journalists in Iraq.”


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