Discussion: NBC News' Richard Engel Says He Incorrectly IDed Syrian Kidnappers

Discussion for article #235357

Looks like it is Get Your Stories Straighter Time at NBC. Too bad Tim Russert isn’t alive to correct his crappy pre-Iraq War reporting about those dastardly aluminum WMD tubes and Dick Cheney’s unchallenged, bold assertions (lies, really).


I think it was the Judean People’s Front.


Judean People’s front, People’s front of Judea. Seriously, who can keep them straight?


You’re one of those Popular Front of Judea supporters, aren’t you? SPLITTER!!!


wonder what other stories need ‘correction’… and just what other country in the region is major shia…

Potato, po-tahto.

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Hey, wait a minute. Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey! Hold it! Now, are we actually gonna go before a federal judge, and tell him that some moldy Babylonian god is going to drop in on Central Park West, and start tearing up the city?

Sumerian, not Babylonian.

Yeah, big difference.

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Seems like an honest mistake by one of the best foreign correspondents in the biz.


He certainly was when he was a foreign correspondent but less so now that he is part of the corporate media

All of the major national security terrorist threats to the US, including al Qaeda, al Shabbab, Boko Haram, Lashkar e Taiba, Taliban, Dash, from toxic, virulent, barbaric and primitive form of sunni islam called wahabbism. I am not surprised the kidnapping were done by sunni terrorists.

Islamic countries with majority Shia population generally have more advanced societies, more culture and education, give more rights to women and are less authoritarian than Sunni majority countries.

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An AMERICAN reporter in the Middle-East got DUPED by the locals? Say it ain’t SO!

Let’s keep this in perspective. This isn’t a lie. This isn’t even exaggeration to make him look better like with O’Reilly or Williams. This is a mistake–a mistake in a war zone. I am not going to sit in the comfort of my office and change my opinion of Engels because of this. Now, some of his recent assessments are another matter.


This is ridiculous. Richard Engel has more bona fides than 99% of the ‘journos’ covering foreign policy today. The Middle East has been his life. Literally.


I’ve worked for “corporate media” and in my experience, the notion that reporters and editors in corporate media are influenced by anything other than the desire to scoop the other guys is as nonsensical as the right’s endless whining about liberal bias. Engel’s been at NBC for as long as I can remember. Where was he that you found acceptable and what shortcomings have you noted in his reportage since he joined the “corporate media”, anyway?


Did you read the story?

The story’s not ridiculous (except maybe at the end, with the writer’s bs attempt to imply something wrt Engel’s recounting of how the two kidnappers were killed). It’s actually pretty interesting, in an “oh, crap, what a tragicomic mess the Middle East is right now” kind of way. But at least a few others here don’t seem to have read it.

@Poindexter: Yeah, he’s been at NBC since 1991, after freelancing with ABC. I only remember because I used to watch ABC’s overnight World News Now, and one night just before the war started they aired his interview with Tariq Aziz from Iraq, after which Dean Reynolds (co-anchoring that night) said, “That Richard Engel’s got a lot o’ guts.” Apparently ABC had thought he was too green to hire permanently, but right after the war NBC snapped him up before the ABC brass could correct their mistake.

I particularly love his appearances on Rachel Maddow’s show. And his segments with her when she went to Afghanistan were terrific.

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Engel obviously doesn’t know Shiite from Shinola.

Oh, the kidnappers are on the side that Israel is supporting. You know, the al Qaeda side. The ISIS side. The Likud side. Bush’s buddies, endorsed by the House of Saud. The side Israel expects us to support. Got it.

Not Shi’ites, Engel.
And Not Sunnis.


Does it matter whether it was Sunnis passing themselves off as Shi’ite, versus Shi’ites passing off as Sunnis? Or Zoroasterians passing off as Manicheists? Or Behafaridians passing off as Bábists?

Jeelaba H. Dunepounder, Engel, you’re supposed to be a frickin’ JOURNALIST. A journalist is supposed to be objective, as in: ‘They SAID they were X, but there’s no solid confirmation’.

Engel’s buds with Maddow, and who doesn’t love Maddow, but a lot of the time Engel ticks me off with how muxh of what he reports is franctic, or frenetically personalized, or shallow, or underdone, or a leap into illogic, or over-simplified, or naive, and lacking in perspective and analysis.