NBC/MSNBC’s Surprise Iraq “Pullout” Coverage…

This story is still ongoing but for the past hour or so live footage from Iraq has been beaming back to the US, first on NBC Nightly News and then on MSNBC. NBC’s Richard Engel is embedded with the last “Combat” troops pulling out of Iraq by convoy. NBC brought back the “Bloom Mobile”, so named for the late David Bloom who used the live satellite technology as the troops crossed in to Iraq at the start of the invasion only to subsequently lose his life tragically as a result of being seated for so long.

MSNBC pulled out everyone for this one; Keith Olbermann, Lawrence O’Donnell, Jack Jacobs, Rachel Maddow via satellite from Iraq, and Chris Matthews who is supposed to be on vacation this week.

CNN and FNC got burned rotten tonight, to say nothing of the other broadcast news networks. I don’t know how it went down and how NBC/MSNBC got the drop on everybody…and expect a process story on that tomorrow probably from the New York Times’ Brian Stelter who is in the NBC control room as I type this and obviously will write it up…but there’s going to be some red faces and maybe some finger pointing and maybe some downplaying the significance of tonight’s events in the coming days. If FNC wins 6pm and 7pm tonight, expect that to be their main talking point – that even getting an “exclusive” like this isn’t enough to give MSNBC a win.

That’s all I can type right now. I’m too busy on Twitter to go into more depth…

Update (8:08pm): Incredible. FNC sticking with O’Reilly, in tape, rather than go to pullout story. O’Reilly, being in tape, leads with NYC “Mosque” and Dick Morris. This network more than any other has cultivated a reputation as being the most “pro-troops” and yet it’s now flushing all that down the drain by not continuing coverage of the pullout story in favor of a taped Bill O’Reilly?

Update (8:12pm): FNC’s programming strategy during 8pm now seems apparent…update the pullout story during commercial breaks. Shepard Smith cuts in and says “We’re eliminating some commercials” and then gives a quick update and then it’s back to taped O’Reilly without missing any of the Factor show. Meanwhile over at CNN, Rick’s List has abandoned whatever programming it was planning on doing to devote the hour to the pullout. CNN may have gotten burned badly by NBC and MSNBC tonight but at least it knows how to take corrective action, unlike FNC which would rather stick with tape and tiny updates.

Update (8:36): The New York Times’ Brian Stelter turns in his first report on tonight’s events…

In explaining NBC’s live coverage earlier this week, the network’s chief foreign correspondent, Richard Engel, said the war “shouldn’t end with such a whisper.”

“We should have a time to reflect on the accomplishments of the military, of their sacrifices, of their failures,” he said in a telephone interview from Iraq this week, surrounded by the empty containers at Camp Liberty outside Baghdad.

NBC officials said their requests to report live during the withdrawal were first filed many weeks ago. The requests provoked debate within the military, with some people arguing that having reporters present would place excess attention on the fact that the troops were leaving.

“But the Iraqis know we’re leaving; it’s hardly a secret,” Mr. Engel said.

Update (9:10pm): FNC leads Hannity live (some segments of his show are taped in advance sometimes…you can tell which is taped because the “Live” bug is missing above the FNC box logo) but not with Iraq pullout only briefly mentions Iraq pullout. The next segment is a taped Frank Luntz focus group on the NYC “Mosque”…

71 Responses to “NBC/MSNBC’s Surprise Iraq “Pullout” Coverage…”

  1. Countdown begins with a prepackaged “world exclusive” announcement. NBC had this for awhile.

  2. All the more reason why having KO anchor was silly. Even Maddow would have been preferable. She’s reported there, and she’s not a hateful prick, which is always a plus.

  3. Dick Morris?! Oh come ON.

  4. “This network more than any other has cultivated a reputation as being the most “pro-troops” and yet it’s now flushing all that down the drain by not continuing coverage of the pullout story in favor of a taped Bill O’Reilly?”
    FNC is only interested in covering the start of a war with all those bombs dropping and all. The end of a war not so much.

  5. Yes, Fox is clearly dropping the ball on the coverage of this story. Whoever decided to stick with O’Reilly is making a terrible decision.

    I must be slow tonight because I think the wall-to-wall coverage by MSNBC is excessive. Yes, it’s a story worthy of coverage but with more than 50,000 troops still in Iraq, we’re not exactly leaving the place to the Iraqis to sort out.

    Too much pictures of really very little (newsworthy that is; obviously getting our people home is wonderful) and not enough analysis and solid news.

  6. You gotta love Rick Sanchez.
    He’s interviewing Jessica Yellin and asks her why the WH hasn’t said anything about the pullout in Iraq yet .
    She says “They’re in the air” and Rick says “In the air? What do you mean?”
    Yellin looks perplexed and says “In the air. They’re flying home.” Sanchez- “Oh! OK”
    The quotes aren’t verbatim but close.

  7. FNC probably doesn’t have much to put on the air because they don’t put money into news gathering like NBC or CNN. How would they fill the airtime if they didn’t show O’Reilly? Plus their audience will stick with O’Reilly & Dick Morris saying exactly the same thing he always says. I often turn to FNC for breaking news when Smith is anchoring but for this, have to watch MSNBC, even if it’s Olbermann in the studio.

  8. Hard to complain about MS if Fox is just doing the occasional news-break. Keith or Dick. Toughie..

  9. Keith or Dick.

    I’ll take somebody more respectable. Like Elliot Spitzer.

  10. Hannity, Howard Dean and the mosque. Wow.

  11. Keith or Dick. Toughie

    Yeah, Morris has milked his former Clinton adviser status for about everything it was worth. He’s like Stephen Colbert; it was funny 5 years ago and entertaining 2 years ago but now? please, get a new act.

    Morris essentially says the same things on every show (right, Obama and the Democrats are bad, we get it, Dick). He’s really become just a partisan with nothing interesting to say. Even Rove occasionally has something different to offer.

  12. ^ Some stories never die. Breaking news be damned.

  13. Even Rove occasionally has something different to offer.

    …on Hannity. About the mosque. Right now.

  14. What is Fox thinking?

    Over coverage = bad. No coverage = worse.

  15. Maddow and Engel talking shop about NBC news technology – this is fascinating. Although I don’t think the technology is the only reason NBC got the scoop here.

    I’m sure FNC could put more resources into actual newsgathering and still turn a pretty good profit for News Corp, but I guess it’s not a priority for the people who run the place. Do they even have anyone reporting from Iraq?

  16. icemannyr Says:

    CNN and FNC are to busy covering the Mosque.
    Plus Hannity has to make sure he gets in the required amount of Obama bashing.
    The question is, will Iraq be the first story for Greta or is she to caught up in her Sarah Palin obsession?

  17. Do they even have anyone reporting from Iraq?

    Of course not; Bush already won that war. They’re busy covering a stupid church in New York.

  18. Getting skunked by MSNBC on a weeknight is just painfully embarrassing. This is not a small or insignifant story. Even Kennedy was in the middle-of-the-night. This is just.. bad.

  19. And CNN has Russell Simmons talking about the mosque. Guess they did enough real coverage earlier.

  20. I’m gonna build a gay bar next to FNC and CNN studios.

  21. icemannyr Says:

    I don’t think an actual FNC reporter is in Iraq.
    If I’m correct they have been using freelancers.

  22. I’m gonna opena a g@y bar next to the FNC and CNN studios. It’ll be called Breaking News.

  23. Do you think O’Reilly will lead his show tomorrow with accusations that this proves the liberal NBC News is clearly working closely with the Obama administration? Followed by Bernie Goldberg saying the same thing he always says?

    The mosque story is not that interesting to me. It’s private property and a local issue, they have the right to build there.

  24. What do you mean fnc doesn’t have anyone in Iraq? They had a report from Iraq on special report tonight about the last brigade ready to leave Iraq.

  25. icemannyr Says:

    I was saying most of the recent reports from Iraq on FNC have been from freelance reporters they have hired.
    Not their regular correspondents.
    Unless that has changed recently?

  26. Uh oh. Keith says it’s “last full combat brigade”, not last combat troop. Oops.

  27. That’s correct. Major Garrett reported during The Fox Report that there will still be 2600-5000 combat troops in Iraq until the end of the month.

  28. Ice they had a report just a few days ago from the chief of their Bagdad bureau, so they may have freelancers on board but their own people are there too.

  29. How low can nbc (msnbc) go, the gall to have Keith Olberbutt covering the last brigade pull out, which ends at the end of august actuially.
    msnbc has trashed , Bush, the iraq war from day one, Olby even numbered the days every day of the war. To have his sorry a$$ on screen now is a slap in the face to the troops and thier families.
    Fox did the right thing in not doing wall to wall coverage, it’s not necessary, Fox covered the war correctly the hold time it has been going on. All you fox bashers get over it.

  30. ^ Ladies and gentleman, the Fox viewer Ailes programs for..

  31. ^ And I’ve been promoted to ‘Fox basher’. I’m so proud.

  32. The left demanded that Obama pull everybody out of Iraq and Afghanistan immediately. Instead, he’s doing pretty much what the Fox crowd would like to see. And Fox ignores it.

  33. Please correct me if i am wrong, i believe these pull out dates were Bushs time line. Whats so , breaking News worthy for msnbc to go wall to wall coverage on something they trashed for 7+ years.

  34. ^ Not so much ignores it as they don’t have the assets anymore to actually cover the story. Thus you downplay the event and berate those with assets to actually cover it.

  35. “Please correct me if i am wrong, i believe these pull out dates
    Your wrong. This (actually Aug. 31) is the date set by Obama as the date when combat troops would leave. Bushes timeline refered to the end of combat (I think) last year and final troop pull out next year.were Bushs time line.
    “Whats so , breaking News worthy for msnbc to go wall to wall coverage on something they trashed for 7+ years.”
    Because they can and FNC can’t.

  36. ^Sorry poor edit.
    “Please correct me if i am wrong, i believe these pull out dates were Bushs time line.”

    Your wrong. This (actually Aug. 31) is the date set by Obama as the date when combat troops would leave. Bushes timeline refered to the end of combat (I think) last year and final troop pull out next year. “
    Whats so , breaking News worthy for msnbc to go wall to wall coverage on something they trashed for 7+ years.”

    Because they can and FNC can’t.

  37. I did watch msnbc long enough to hear madcow say they had the assets to cover the event, after that , i turned the channel, can’t stand but a minute or two of msnbc pundits.
    To me its like having wessels covering the hen house.

  38. Ouch..oh never mind. I’m gettin’ too old for this s**t.

  39. Ouch, I’ve defended you before because, frankly, you seem a bit off. If you’re unable to spell ‘Maddow’ without cue-cards, tune-in long-enough to copy it off the screen.

  40. Not so much ignores it as they don’t have the assets anymore to actually cover the story.

    Dude, they’re blowing it off because it’s an “Obama done good” story. I have to explain this to a liberal?

  41. — Obie done good —

    Yeah, baby, just in time for the midterms… 😉

  42. According to friz3 and maddow msnbc only has the assets to cover the pull out. So how can fox do wall to wall without the assets to actually do the job. I guess they should keep repeating troops pulling out over and over.

  43. Laura: I do know how to spell Maddow, i think Madcow suits her best. I know all pundits have thier own agenda, i have no use for MADCOWS AGENDA. THANK YOU:

  44. Point. Missed. 🙄

  45. Laural: GREAT: Now i know. Just what i don’t know, go figure.

  46. Stick with me, kid. I’ll learn ya’.

  47. Nice: i think.

  48. Even when I’m rotten. It’s a curse.

  49. May the curse be with you: 1:42 AM HERE IN NORTH CAROLINA good night and good luck. craaash:

  50. I just don’t like name-calling. Sorry for the insult.

  51. tooncigars Says:

    ^ouch– if these two start complaining about how ur grammer or spelling is pathetic… you’re IN… big time– it’s how they express their frustration when things get a little rough around here– keep it up and u’ll become a “made-man” around here–

  52. ^ Actually, that’s how I express it. She owns guns..

  53. To have his sorry a$$ on screen now is a slap in the face to the troops and thier families.

    Ironically, ouchboy decides to use “the troops and thier [sic] families” to attack MSNBC and Olbermann and start another pointless, hateful tirade. People like him don’t care about the troops or their families because their hatred for MSNBC overshadows everything.

    Ouch, I’ve defended you before because, frankly, you seem a bit off. If you’re unable to spell ‘Maddow’ without cue-cards, tune-in long-enough to copy it off the screen.

    He knows how it’s spelled… they just can’t help themselves and LOVE to name call people they hate.

  54. tooncigars Says:

    ^holier than thou libs have no apple cart to preach from when it comes to name calling– and i don’t think i have to point out the myriad things they’ve called conservatives in the past (and present), so i won’t– as i’ve stated, when the going gets “hot” with these guys, they usually start in on your semantics or how you’re not playing “fair”–

  55. ^ Geez you whine a lot. I take it all back; you were more fun when you were posting poems about Al Gore’s hard on, and Whoopi lap dancing. Another day, another winger bitching and moaning about the Big Bad Liberals picking on them. Tissue?

  56. Hey guys i learned the name calling thing from watching Hannity, Olbermann and Ed Schultz. You know like turd blossom, beckster, drugster, the chosen one, this woman is crazy per keith olbermann.

  57. Hey ouchboy, the people complaining about that type of name-calling don’t support your examples, either. Well, except for me, with the one you misquoted. KO says about Palin, “That woman..is an idiot”. That one moves beyond name-calling into the realm of objective truth. I’m good with it. 😉

  58. Hey Joe: You are right about Olbys usual quot ( that woman is an idiot, )but i have heard her called crazy though by somebody on msnbc before. I think it may be Bachman that he calls crazy.
    YOu lost me on the other qotes thou, Ed calls Karl Rove turd blossom everytime Ed speaks of Rove and Ed calls Rush Limbauh the drugster all the time. So how is it the people complaining don’t support my examples? just saying. Are they saying I’am mistaken or is it that they don’t like the truth?

  59. Sorry, Ouch, my comment was a little convoluted. Laura said she doesn’t like the “Madcow” name-calling; you said “what about stuff other people say”; and I claimed that some people don’t like that stuff, either. In reality, of the people in this thread, I can only speak reliably for Laura – who I know doesn’t support name-calling from Hannity, Schultz and Olbermann – and myself.

    I specifically have a distaste for the “drugster” line. I’m a recovering alkie, and can tell you that addiction is a B!TCH, and not to be bandied about for political target practice. I’ll give Ed a little leeway with “turd blossom” since that’s what Bush called Rove. I’ll give anybody leeway for calling Bachmann “crazy”, ’cause..well.. she IS.

  60. Just to let you know, even thou you probably could care less, everybody don”t think of Bachmann and Palin as crazy or idiots. In fact i will be going to DC august 28th just to see Palin , and Beck at the Lincoln Memorial .

  61. As a matter of fact, I do care what others think, and don’t expect everyone to agree with me in order for me to consider their POV worthwhile. I’m vey well aware that lots of people think Bachmann and Palin are swell, and if I was in DC on the 28th (heyyy..), I would check out the rally, too. And undoubtedly meet some wonderful crazy-people. I’m not entirely non-crazy, myself, you know..;-)

  62. 2:34 am in north carolina, good-night and good luck.

  63. 11:55 in California. Time for Red Eye. Nite kid.

  64. tooncigars Says:

    ^ Geez you whine a lot. I take it all back; you were more fun when you were posting poems about Al Gore’s hard on, and Whoopi lap dancing. Another day, another winger bitching and moaning about the Big Bad Liberals picking on them. Tissue?

    thought u found me offensive before when u were constantly complaining (whining?) about my posts because they were taking attention away from u– another thing that libs have in common is a short memory– in joe’s case, his thought process can only handle going from one post to another and it all has to be on the same day– we all thought Clinton knew how to compartmentalize!– this guy makes Bubba look like a “piker”–

  65. …because they were taking attention away from u…

    Yeah. That’s it.

  66. tooncigars Says:

    ^or was it that u were hitting on chicks… i don’t remember as it didn’t strike me as very important at the time– see remi?– joe: good– toon: bad– simple, yes?

  67. ^ You got something against hitting on chicks, Sparky? It’s a First Amendment right..

  68. tooncigars Says:

    not at all Stud– i guess some of us gotta get it where we can, yes?– glad u don’t find the word “chicks” offensive– in fact, u seem to be lightening up lately– u finally been getting laid or what?–

  69. ^ Snort. Or what.

  70. tooncigars Says:

    ok… in a lonely hearts case like yours… if i spell it out u’ll find it “too offensive”

  71. The thread that wouldn’t die. DIE, thread, DIE!

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