Yes, Peter Arnett, last seen in 1998 disseminating a virtually unsourced and utterly false tale about the U.S. Army using sarin against Vietnam War defectors in 1970, is back, armed with a National Geographic press credential and reporting on the war for NBC. You can say what you like about lawyers, but if they get caught embezzling the escrow funds, it’s disbarment and that’s all she wrote. Arnett gets caught effectively making up a sensational story and publishing it under his own byline in Time. He pleads in his own defense that the copy was handed to him, classily passing the buck to his colleagues. And not only does he not get fired — his producer, whom he hung out to dry, was canned, while his own contract was allowed to quietly expire — but he resurfaces a few years later on another major network! I wonder what Scott Fitzgerald was smoking when he said there are no second acts in American lives. Sometimes I think American lives consist of nothing but second acts. (Link from Colby Cosh.)

(Update: Hey, great! Now he’s criticizing American military strategy for Iraqi TV. Imagine that. Thanks to Susanna for the link.)

(Further: Canned. Stay tuned for the third act.)

Aaron Haspel | Posted March 22, 2003 @ 6:45 PM | Culture,Politics

2 Responses to “Operation Second Wind”

  1. 1 1. jay mckee

    well said
    I find this lying clown being allowed to star on network tv with adoring intros from tom brokaw as disgusting as the P.O.W. pics
    thank God for remote controls


  2. 2 2. alexis

    In America it only counts as a second act if it’s a bigger show than the first act. Hence Fitzgerald’s problem.

    Hence also, the perpetual efforts of optimistic and driven characters like Arnett, as opposed to a romantic malcontent like Fitzgerald.


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