Imus's McGuirk and McCord refused to apologize for attacks on Jill Carroll

››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

Imus in the Morning executive producer Bernard McGuirk and co-host Charles McCord refused to apologize for their recent remarks about kidnapped journalist Jill Carroll. Because of Carroll's statements upon her release from kidnappers in Iraq that she was "treated very well" and "was not harmed" or "threatened," McGuirk claimed on the March 30 Imus broadcast that Carroll "strikes" him "as the kind of woman who would wear one of those suicide vests" to "try and sneak into the Green Zone," and added the next day that Carroll "is carrying [terrorist leader Abu Musab al-] Zarqawi's baby." McCord agreed with McGuirk on the March 30 program, stating that "[s]he cooked with them [terrorists], lived with them" and adding that "there is no evidence to suggest" that Carroll was not representing terrorists or insurgents with her statements.

On the April 3 edition of MSNBC's Imus in the Morning, the show's executive producer, Bernard McGuirk, and co-host Charles McCord refused to apologize for their recent remarks about Jill Carroll, a Christian Science Monitor reporter who was released by her Iraqi kidnappers in Baghdad on March 30. Because of Carroll's statements upon her release that she was "treated very well" and "was not harmed" or "threatened," McGuirk claimed on the March 30 edition of Imus that Carroll "strikes" him "as the kind of woman who would wear one of those suicide vests" to "try and sneak into the Green Zone." He added on the March 31 edition of Imus that Carroll "is carrying [terrorist leader Abu Musab al-] Zarqawi's baby." McCord agreed with McGuirk on the March 30 program, stating that "[s]he cooked with them [terrorists], lived with them" and adding that "there is no evidence to suggest" that Carroll was not representing terrorists or insurgents with her statements. On the April 3 edition of the show, after Carroll had publicly explained that she had made the prior remarks in exchange for her freedom and had declared that "[t]hese people are criminals and I was under duress," Imus demanded an apology from McGuirk and McCord. Both refused: McCord claimed that their comments were "widely held view[s]," and McGuirk said that they were just "articulating what everyone was suspecting." McCord later added: "All we said was that she is a known sympathizer to the general Arab cause. And Iraq is considered, you know, almost a second home by her. There's nothing wrong with that."

From the April 3 edition of MSNBC's Imus in the Morning:

IMUS: So she's aware of all of the -- in my view -- idiotic analysis of this initial interview she gave that was made by various people. Rush Limbaugh and other morons.

RICHARD ENGEL (NBC News Baghdad correspondent): She's definitely aware of it. In Germany, she spent a half-day --

IMUS: Pardon me?

ENGEL: Yeah, she's definitely aware of it. Half the day in Germany, she actually missed the flight, so she had to spend the day in Germany -- missed the connection. And that day, she spent writing a sort of rebuttal to all the criticism saying that "this was not what I meant. I had no choice. These people are criminals, and I was under duress."

[...]

IMUS: Well, now what do you have to say, Charles? Bernard?

McCORD: What do you mean?

IMUS: Well you guys were -- had her carrying al-Zarqawi's baby.

McGUIRK: Aw, come on. Just kidding around. Just glad she's OK, she's back and all is well.

McCORD: Absolutely.

McGUIRK: And all is well.

McCORD: Enough said.

IMUS: Well, you two should apologize. That's what I think.

McGUIRK: Apologize for what? For articulating what everybody was suspecting?

McCORD: Yeah, for sharing the widely held view?

IMUS: Well, I didn't hold that view. So how widely held was it?

McCORD: It was very widely held.

IMUS: You're nuts.

McCORD: No, no, no, no, no.

IMUS: You're nuts, all of you.

McCORD: All we said is that she is a known sympathizer to the general Arab cause. And Iraq is considered, you know, almost a second home by her. There's nothing wrong with that.

IMUS: No, no. But you made her -- you four-eyed goober -- you made her sound like a terrorist, part of the insurgency.

McCORD: No. I don't think, there's no evidence to support anything like that, at this point.

IMUS: Well, of course there is. Lou and I had the tape.

McCORD: No, I mean there is no evidence to support that she is a sympathizer of the insurgency.

IMUS: Oh, you shut up.

McCORD: That's ridiculous.

IMUS: You're a horrid individual.

McGUIRK: We're just glad she's OK.

McCORD: Amen. Back with her family.

IMUS: What about you Bernard? You had her carrying al-Zarqawi's baby.

McGUIRK: Listen, it was just speculation -- was all it was.

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy, Terrorism
Network/Outlet
MSNBC
Person
Don Imus
Show/Publication
Imus in the Morning
Stories/Interests
Propaganda/Noise Machine
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