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Just fired, Peter Arnett hired by British paper

Peter Arnett
Peter Arnett

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CNN's Howard Kurtz examines the recent troubles of journalists Peter Arnett and Geraldo Rivera over news coverage in Iraq (March 31)
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Veteran war correspondent Peter Arnett told Iraqi TV that the U.S. war plan has 'failed' (March 31)
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- Britain's Daily Mirror hired veteran war correspondent Peter Arnett Tuesday, less than 24 hours after he was fired by NBC and National Geographic for saying on Iraqi TV the U.S. war plan has "failed."

The tabloid's banner headline Tuesday said: "Fired by America for telling the truth ... hired by Daily Mirror to carry on telling it."

Piers Morgan, an editor for the Daily Mirror, told CNN, "Peter is one of the most respected journalists in the world, and we are delighted he is joining us to expose the truth about a war increasingly dominated by propaganda."

Arnett, 68, was quoted in the tabloid as saying, "I report the truth of what is happening here in Baghdad and will not apologize for it. I have always admired your newspaper and am proud to be working for it."

Arnett -- who won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on the Vietnam War, and covered the 1991 Persian Gulf War for CNN -- was one of the last reporters in Baghdad reporting for a U.S. network when he was interviewed by Iraqi TV over the weekend.

In that interview, he said, "The first war plan has failed because of Iraqi resistance. Now they are trying to write another war plan. Clearly, the American war planners misjudged the determination of the Iraqi forces."

Arnett had been reporting from Baghdad for NBC News and MSNBC while on assignment for National Geographic Explorer. NBC and National Geographic abruptly fired him Monday.

"It was wrong for Mr. Arnett to grant an interview to state-controlled Iraqi TV, especially at a time of war, and it was wrong for him to discuss his personal observations and opinions in that interview," NBC News President Neal Shapiro said in a statement.

National Geographic issued a statement that read:

"The Society did not authorize or have any prior knowledge of Arnett's television interview with Iraqi television, and had we been consulted, would not have allowed it."

In an interview with NBC's Matt Lauer on "The Today Show," Arnett apologized for comments he made.

"I want to apologize to the American people for clearly making a misjudgment over the weekend by giving an interview to Iraqi Television," Arnett said.

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