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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 12/12/2001 8:57:53 AM EST
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A30669-2001Dec12.html Rivera Sparks Debate About War Role E-Mail This Article Printer-Friendly Version Subscribe to The Post By David Bauder AP Television Writer Wednesday, December 12, 2001; 8:50 AM NEW YORK –– From his perch near Tora Bora, Afghanistan, Fox News Channel correspondent Geraldo Rivera seemed more agitated by a question about carrying a gun than by the mortar rounds that just exploded nearby. "I refuse to address that issue," said Rivera, speaking into a satellite phone. "It's been blown way out of proportion. It makes me sound like a tabloid talk show host goes to war. It's so unfair." Yet Rivera's decision to bring a gun into a war zone where eight journalists have been killed has raised questions about whether it's a proper – or wise – thing for a reporter to do. Many reporters say that carrying a gun is risky because soldiers would be less likely to believe a claim that someone is a journalist, making them potential targets. "If the word gets out that a journalist is carrying a gun, it makes it difficult for everyone," said Peter Arnett, a former war correspondent for The Associated Press and CNN. Rivera, speaking on Fox News Channel last week, said that "if they're going to get us, it's going to be in a gunfight." But when asked specifically by an anchor whether he had a gun, he was reluctant to talk about it, finally nodding yes. He's traveling with two guards who have five guns between them, Fox spokesman Robert Zimmerman said. Rivera isn't necessarily carrying a gun in most situations, but has one readily available, he said. While filming a report last week, Rivera ducked after a sniper fired a few shots in his direction. "There are eight journalists already dead," he said. "I almost got killed last Thursday and, believe me, it wasn't because of a story in the New York Post that I was carrying a gun. This is a very dangerous place. "That makes me feel ill, that suddenly it's become an issue that I'm putting journalists at risk," he said. "That's complete bull." NBC forbids its correspondents from carrying firearms. ABC won't discuss its security arrangements. CBS and CNN said none of their personnel carries weapons, but it isn't a formal policy. Steve Bell, a telecommunications professor at Ball State University who covered Vietnam for ABC News, doubts he'd be alive today if he were carrying a gun when captured by Viet Cong soldiers in Cambodia in 1970. He sat in a car while his Vietnamese co-workers convinced the soldiers that Bell was a journalist, not a CIA agent. "If I had been carrying a weapon, I doubt if that argument would have gone over well," Bell said. Former CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite, who covered World War II for United Press International, said all journalists he knew then adhered to Geneva Convention rules that they should not carry weapons.
Link Posted: 12/12/2001 8:59:26 AM EST
Novelist Ernest Hemingway, who covered World War II as a reporter, angered fellow journalists in August 1944 when he joined a band of French resistance fighters. They were concerned about him blurring lines between journalists and soldiers. Hemingway kept firearms, bazookas and grenades in his hotel in Paris, leading to an appearance before a military panel on allegations he was violating Geneva Convention rules concerning news correspondents. He claimed the weapons were in his room only because the military lacked storage space. Carrying a gun could make soldiers "look at reporters, particularly American reporters, as some kind of opponent," said Arnett, who is heading to Afghanistan soon as a correspondent for an independent production company. "The whole point of being a journalist is to be detached." Arnett said he hoped Rivera is trained in using a weapon. "I wouldn't want to be near him if he opened up," he said. As a young reporter in Vietnam, Arnett admitted to occasionally carrying a weapon before he was convinced it was unwise. He hasn't since, he said. Even if the journalists themselves are not armed, many news organizations – including The Associated Press – have hired armed guards for their personnel in particularly dangerous areas of Afghanistan. Expensive news equipment is considered tempting to thieves. "I can understand wanting to have a bodyguard," said Alex Jones, director of the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University. "I think I would prefer to have someone with experience both locally and experience in their kind of battlegrounds and keep my focus on doing my job." But Jones said he wouldn't criticize a reporter who feels safer armed. "I can understand both sides of the argument," Jones said. "What I can't understand is if you're carrying a gun and talking about it." Rivera and Fox News Channel have both been outspoken in support of the U.S. war effort. Rivera, who left his CNBC talk show because he wanted to cover the war, has talked about killing Osama bin Laden if he had the opportunity. He's less willing to talk about his own personal security. "I haven't had a shower in two weeks and I have to defend whether I'm carrying a six-shooter?" he said. "It's just ridiculous." © 2001 The Associated Press
Link Posted: 12/12/2001 9:02:41 AM EST
He IS a tabloid talk show host gone to war....And carrying a six-shooter, no less. What an idiot. He craves so much attention he should be a regular poster to this board.
Link Posted: 12/12/2001 9:07:50 AM EST
YOU MEAN LIKE TR... Oh, never mind.
Link Posted: 12/12/2001 9:12:58 AM EST
I have no problem with him carrying a gun to defend himself. My problem is how the hypocritical scumbag jibes this with his anti-gun feelings when he gets back home to the States.
Link Posted: 12/12/2001 9:41:55 AM EST
I also have no problem with him carrying a gun. I have a problem if he comes back here and starts preaching gun control. These other reporters are just a bunch of gun-grabbers who like to take pot-shots at anything that has an inkling of being pro-gun. Their arguments are stupid. To assume that you are safe in a country like Afghanistan because you are a reporter is ludicrous. If I had to be over there, you bette believe I would have more than just cameras slung over my shoulder.
Link Posted: 12/12/2001 9:56:29 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/12/2001 1:33:28 PM EST by Kevin]
Originally Posted By kikomax: He IS a tabloid talk show host gone to war....And carrying a six-shooter, no less. What an idiot. He craves so much attention he should be a regular poster to this board.
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All I've seen whenever I watch is his incessant whining about how deplorable THEIR living conditions are. As for the clip I saw of him answering (painfully) that he had a gun... it was classic Jerry Springer show theatrics!!
Link Posted: 12/12/2001 11:16:33 AM EST
The stupid idiot at the Washington Post doesnt understand that only REAL State backed armies obey the international conventions. In Afganistan they have armed mobs who deliberately target journalists because they are White and because they have radios and satellite phones that are very valuable there. They are thugs and bandits not soldiers and pacifism will not protect you.
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