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Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Walter Rodgers: 'Disaster' Email 'An Understatement'

Orignially intended as a private message to friends, an email written by Farnaz Fassihi, WSJ's correspondent in Baghdad, has exploded across the Internet and created a debate about whether the situation in Iraq is as bad as Fassihi says. Quoting Fassihi today on Business International, CNN's Richard Quest asked senior international correspondent Walter Rodgers whether Iraq was indeed a "disaster":

"That's probably an understatement." Rodgers asked, "Where's the good news?"

Later, he added, "The Americans, the Bush administration [...] has failed." Rodgers said he personally suspects, without knowing, that all of the Western networks are just "waiting for one Western reporter to be killed" before they pull out. "They don't want to be there," he said. He pointed to European news outlets that have already begun to withdraw.

Though not directed to Fassihi, Rodgers offered some advice: "If you expect to be liked, don't be a reporter, and don't be a war correspondent."