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CNN Scrambles as Crew Is Expelled

March 22, 2003|Elizabeth Jensen

NEW YORK — CNN found its experienced correspondents silenced Friday, a day when Baghdad was at the hub of the action in Iraq, after government authorities expelled the cable channel's four journalists from the city.

The Iraqis expressed "general outrage" over CNN's reporting, according to network representatives.

CNN said its team, which includes correspondents Nic Robertson and Rym Brahimi, producer Ingrid Formanek and photographer Brian Puchaty, planned to leave for the Jordanian border at daylight today in Iraq.

CNN has been expelled several times in the last decade because the authorities, who can watch its broadcasts in Iraq, believe the reporting is too pro-American.

Until Friday's expulsion order, CNN was the only U.S. network left with employees in Baghdad; other networks had pulled their reporters because of safety concerns.

Some freelance TV journalists remained, however, as did Peter Arnett, who is employed by cable channel National Geographic Explorer, although his reports have been appearing on NBC and its MSNBC cable arm.

After its staffers were told to leave, CNN continued to report from Baghdad using freelancer May Ying Welsh. The network is also attempting to hire another freelancer from among reporters still in Iraq.

-- Elizabeth Jensen

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