Iraq assassin trips NBC, FOX

Pentagon report trips up Williams

NEW YORK — NBC led the “Nightly News” Tuesday night with an uncharacteristic gaffe.

Anchor Brian Williams began the newscast with an “exclusive” that Raid Juhi, the chief judge hearing the case against Saddam Hussein, had been assassinated.

In fact, it was a different tribunal judge, one who had been hearing other cases against former Baathists, who was assassinated in Baghdad, along with his son.

The error was repeated by MSNBC and Fox News Channel before each corrected the error.

NBC Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski, who issued the erroneous report, corrected the story for the 7 p.m. broadcasts, attributing the mistake to “confusing reports coming out of Baghdad.”

A network source said the misinformation came from the Pentagon, which initially told NBC it was Juhi who had been shot and killed.

The judge killed was Barbweez Mahmood, one of 49 judges handling “high profile” cases in Iraq, the Peacock later reported.

“Juhi had been the target of several assassination attempts, and was under heavy armed guard. But tonight administration officials tell NBC News that the judge apparently killed earlier today was actually Barbweez Mahmood and his son, and they expect that the Iraqis will make a major announcement shortly,” Miklaszewski reported.

Gaffe came as the latest numbers from Nielsen showed Williams handily retaining the lead he inherited from Tom Brokaw over ABC’s Peter Jennings.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Scene News from Variety

Loading