Future unclear for Fox's Rivera - East Valley Tribune: Get Out

Future unclear for Fox's Rivera

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Posted: Wednesday, April 2, 2003 8:27 am | Updated: 1:21 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

NEW YORK - While veteran reporter Peter Arnett wasted no time beginning his new career as a weekly newspaper commentator, it wasn't clear whether Geraldo Rivera has a future as a Fox News Channel correspondent in Iraq.

On Monday, military officials accused Rivera of disclosing unauthorized military movements after a report in which he squatted in the desert and outlined military movements in the dirt.

The Pentagon said Tuesday that Fox had agreed to remove Rivera from his posting with U.S troops in Iraq.

But Tuesday morning he appeared in a live shot on Fox News Channel. He said he was still with the 101st Airborne Division and made no mention of leaving.

"Two of our Patriots (missiles) did impact in the skies right over our base here in the central Iraqi desert," he said. "I won't get any more precise than that, and I won't draw anything in the dirt, except maybe a happy face."

Lt. Col. Dave LaPan said that the Pentagon had asked that Rivera be removed "and we are working with (Fox News Channel) to make that happen." He said the network had agreed.

Fox News Channel executives did not return telephone calls seeking comment.

The Daily News, quoting an unnamed spokesman, reported Wednesday that Rivera had "volunteered" to go to Kuwait, where he will continue to report on the war. The paper said he'd face no disciplinary action.

One of Fox News Channel's rivals was quick to go on the attack Tuesday. MSNBC ran an in-house promotion promising viewers that "we will not compromise military security or jeopardize a single American life."

MSNBC also ran a news story with a film clip of Rivera's report, although it pointedly blurred the lines he drew in the sand.

Tim Graham, a spokesman for the conservative watchdog organization, the Media Research Center, said he considered Rivera a grandstander and wished Fox News Channel hadn't hired him.

"I'm not sure what he did was a firing offense," Graham said. "The issue becomes, if they assent to him being removed from the war zone, will he accept that, or will he quit?"

Meanwhile, Arnett began his new job as a contributor for the British tabloid The Daily Mirror by writing that "I am still in shock and awe at being fired."

Arnett was dismissed by NBC and National Geographic Explorer on Monday for giving an unauthorized interview to Iraqi state television in which he said the U.S.-led war effort initially failed because of Iraq's resistance.

"Fired by America for telling the truth," the Daily Mirror said in a page one headline. The paper said Arnett will file one report per week, giving a personalized view of the war.

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