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Archives: December 2006

Saddam: Raman’s Reporting Is Praised; Cooper Full Of Uhhs & Umms

CNN correspondent Aneesh Raman “carried the Saddam coverage,” this TVSpyer says.

“I know that he’s got people working for him, but he was the one breaking most of the news on CNN’s air,” a second commenter adds. “I guess, uhh, CNN, umm, didn’t want to, uhh, leave it up to, uhh, Anderson Cooper to, umm, break the, uhh, news.”

> Update: 1:03am: Maybe it’s time to try the Cooper drinking game again, an e-mailer adds…

Saddam: FNC Live Until 2am

Post updated at 12:52am: Fox News Channel will be live with execution coverage until 2am. Gregg Jarrett and Jamie Colby took over for Greta Van Susteren at midnight. Live coverage will resume at 5am with Fox & Friends Weekend…

Saddam: Celebrates’s home page at 11:15pm:


“The bones and skull… that’s classy,” an e-mailer laughs…

Saddam: CNN Live All Night

Anderson Cooper 360 will stay on the air an extra hour until 1 a.m. (ET),” according to a CNN spokesperson. “CNN/U.S. will simulcast CNNI beginning at 1 a.m. until 6 a.m. (ET). CNN Saturday Morning will start early at 6 a.m. (ET).”

Saddam: I’d Rather Watch Al Jazeera Than Listen To Cablers Who Are Quoting It

ajedec29.jpg“The American networks’ mere whisper of the execution of Saddam Hussein is exactly the reason why we need access to international news channels,” Lost Remote’s Steve Safran blogs. “Even our news channels, giving this story the time it deserves, are stuck quoting Arab news sources. We, as news consumers, should demand the ability to get news as it is reported from around the world. I would much rather be watching al-Jazeera right now than skipping through channels to see who is quoting it.”

How’s Al Jazeera English performing tonight? Here’s the Internet stream. According to an e-mailer, “even when CNN and the Arab media were reporting the execution, they carried on unaware of what was happening for many minutes…”

Saddam: “We’re Going To Be Very Judicious” In Any Video We Show, CNN Says

It sounds like CNN will show some documentation of the hanging. Here’s what Anderson Cooper said at 10:41pm:

“We anticipate some form of footage, whether it’s video or whether it’s still photos, to be released. We’re going to be very judicious in how we show them to you.

We obviously will take great care in that. We will debate it internally before showing you those pictures, and get them to you very quickly after we get them.

And we’ll give you fair warning as to exactly what is going to be seen in the pictures for you at home to decide whether or not you want to see. We obviously will not be showing anything too gruesome.”

Saddam: NBC Reports News At 10:14pm; CBS At 10:18pm; ABC at 10:25pm

NBC, at 10:14pm, was the first broadcast network to report the execution of Saddam Hussein. Campbell Brown anchored from New York, and cited reports on “three Arab language television stations.” Richard Engel reported from Baghdad. The special report lasted two minutes.

Two minutes after NBC signed off, Katie Couric announced on CBS that “Saddam Hussein is dead.” Randall Pinkston reported from Baghdad and former U.N. ambassador Richard Holbrooke was in the studio with Couric. Of the “Big Three” anchors, Couric was the only one to host a special report.

At 10:20pm, Shep Smith provided a two-minute bulletin for Fox affiliates.

ABC was the last network to report the news. Elizabeth Vargas was hosting 20/20 when she paused for a special report. Jonathan Karl said an U.S. official in Baghdad had confirmed the news to him.

> Update: 10:53pm: CBS says it was the first network to independently confirm the execution. That confirmation came from one of Saddam’s attorneys…

> Update: 11:02pm: “While ABC was last to get on the air with a report on Saddam’s execution, we were FIRST to air official independent confirmation” from the U.S., an ABC insider says. “Seconds before the special report took to the air, Jonathan Karl had just gotten off the phone with a senior U.S. official who confirmed what all the others were hanging on unconfirmed Arab media reports. This was a deliberate decision made by wise managers in New York.”

Saddam: Nets Rely On Arab Media Reports

On FNC, correspondent David Mac Dougall told Greta Van Susteren how the news came in. He said:

“Down in our newsroom we’ve got people monitoring Al Arabiya, Al Iraqiya, Al Jazeera — all these Arab satellite channels — they, as you speculate, might have somebody actually at the execution as a witness. When that comes in, our Arabic speakers downstairs can instantly tell us what’s going on. They read the crawl on the bottom of the screen, they’re listening to the commentators.

And when Al Arabiya broke in with the news, one of the producers spoke into my ear, Saddam Hussein is dead. It sounds a little old-fashioned just to rely the news by word of mouth, just based on what we’re seeing on the TV, but it’s the first way we can bring the news direct.”

Saddam: Where’s The Iraqi Perspective?

dearborndec29.jpg > Update: 10:44pm: CNN’s Allan Chernoff is in Dearborn. He reported about the mood and asked a couple of bystanders for their reactions. “What goes round, comes round,” one person said…

An e-mailer asks: “Do any of the nets have correspondents in Dearborn, Michigan?”

Both CNN and Fox News are showing dramatic live pictures of Iraqi Americans celebrating Saddam Hussein‘s execution.

“But I haven’t seen anyone try to interview them,” the e-mailer says. “It seems the Iraqi perspective on Saddam’s execution is sorely lacking from U.S. coverage.”

Saddam: CNN First With Execution, Citing Al Hurra; FNC & MSNBC Follow

cooperdec291.jpgAll of the cable nets ran with the Saddam Hussein execution news based on translated reports from Arab media outlets. CNN was two minutes ahead of FNC…

CNN, 10:06pm: Aneesh Raman: “Al Hurra television in Iraqi is now reporting that the execution of Saddam Hussein was carried out ten minutes ago.”

FNC, 10:08pm: David Mac Dougall: “Al Arabiya television reporting, Saddam Hussein is dead.”

MSNBC, 10:09pm: Jim Maceda: “Al Arabiya television is confirming now, it’s a single-source confirmation, that Saddam Hussein is dead.”