Major Controversy Among Journalists

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Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly.  Thank you for watching us tonight.  Our military analysts are standing by but first, the Talking Points Memo.

Major controversy among journalists.  Peter Arnett has been fired by NBC and the National Geographic Network for telling Iraqi TV that the U.S. war plan failed.  That, of course, aids and abets Saddam's government by giving it false hope.

If those people over there think they're winning they will fight longer and more Americans will be killed.  So Mr. Arnett did a very bad thing. He's paid a big price.  He is through in journalism.

Here at FOX [News], some Pentagon officials are mad at Geraldo for drawing a map in the sand in the Iraqi desert.  That was probably not a good idea.  But our competitors have overblown the story big time.

I talked with Geraldo on The Radio Factor.  The point of view is that all of the information he gave out was already reported elsewhere and since he is a lightning rod, any controversy is a distraction, he knows that.

FOX News executives are looking at the situation right now.  We will let you know what happens.

Then there's Andy Rooney, who said this last night [Sunday night, March 30] on 60 Minutes.


ANDY ROONEY, 60 MINUTES COMMENTATOR:  When I see President Bush with soldiers, I wish he had been one at war himself.  He'd know where about where he's sending those soldiers.  Just an opinion.

It bothers that America is hated.  I don't like to be hated personally, which happens, and I don't like my country to be hated, which has happened.

I have one opinion I don't like having.  We have stores of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons in this country.  If we were losing this war, would we as a last resort use them?  I'm afraid we might.

Hussein has chemical and biological weapons.  If he is about to lose his war, will he use them?  I'm afraid he might.


Well, with all due respect to Mr. Rooney, who is often incisive, he's spinning here.  Sure, America has weapons of mass destruction, to keep us free.  But we never use them in battle, with the exception of ending the war with Japan.

Iraq, on the other hand, gassed its own citizens and the people of Iran.  It also signed a peace treaty ending the first Gulf War, promising to destroy its chemical and biological weapons.  Did Andy Rooney miss this?

How can he compare the chemical situation in Iraq with the USA?  We didn't sign any treaty promising to destroy our weapons.  Putting Iraq on the same moral plane as America is simply spin.  And unfortunately, this stuff happens all the time.

This war is being fought because the USA believes Saddam has banned weapons and will make them available to terrorists or use them himself.  False comparisons by journalists going on throughout the war and are intellectually dishonest.

Did you ever wonder about that, Andy Rooney?  And that's the The Memo.

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day"...

The International Red Cross we just mentioned [in the previous segment with author Stephen Brill] is visiting Iraqi prisoners of war but has not received permission from Iraq to see the Americans being held by Saddam's government.

That should come as no surprise to anyone, but it is ridiculous.  What's even more ridiculous is that you are not likely to see the situation discussed in the protest community, which, of course, tends to run just one way--anti-USA.