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Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Christiane Amanpour is one of the best, and most memorable journalists on television I've ever seen, right from the days when CNN was covering the Gulf War in 1991 to her current coverage of the situation in Iraq. Bill O'Reilly on The O'Reilly Factor today suggested she should perhaps cover "movies or something" since her spouse, Jamie Rubin, is deeply involved with the Kerry campaign. This is an incredible suggestion, Amanpour has had a stellar reporting career in which she's covered not only the Gulf War and Iraq, but also did substantial work in Bosnia, Rwanda and Pakistan besides interviewing a range of world leaders. Here's a look at the awards she's received,
For her reporting from the Balkans, Amanpour received a News and Documentary Emmy, two George Foster Peabody Awards, two George Polk Awards, a Courage in Journalism Award, a Worldfest-Houston International Film Festival Gold Award and the Livingston Award for Young Journalists. She also was named 1994 Woman of the Year by the New York Chapter of Women in Cable and Telecommunications, and she helped the network win a duPont Award for its coverage of Bosnia and a Golden CableACE for its Gulf War coverage.

Amanpour has been awarded a number of other prizes, including a further Emmy for her documentary 'Struggle for Islam'; the 2002 Edward R. Murrow Award for Distinguished Achievement in Broadcast Journalism; the Sigma Chi Award (SDX) for her reports from Goma, Zaire; two George Polk Awards for her coverage of Bosnia in 1994 and for her work on the CNN International special Battle for Afghanistan in 1997 to name but a few.

Amanpour's 1991 Gulf War reporting also received the Breakthrough Award from Women, Men and Media. Her contribution to the 1985 four-week series, Iran: In the Name of God, helped CNN earn its first duPont award.

Now Mr. O'Reilly wants her to give up political journalism, that, to borrow a line from The Factor, is the most ridiculous suggestion I've heard today. It's funny how full of himself Bill O'Reilly really is, he hawks "Boycott France" bumper stickers, threatens Canadian guests of boycotting their country or cutting off US trade with them, casts aspersions on the Justices of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco and repeatedly calls people unpatriotic, he were, as if, the sole guardian and arbiter of what patriotism is.

I find it more than a little rankling to hear talk of an individual's or a group's patriosm being questioned based on their belief system. Back home, in India, for example, I was once asked by a friend in all seriousness, who my loyalties lay with, Pakistan or India, during the Kargil conflict. The implication of being a closet supporter of a country merely because I followed the same religion as they did, was absurd in the extreme for me, I don't identify with Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan or Pakistan, atleast not with any sense of allegiance, my identification with the peoples of those countries is the same as it would be with the people of any other nation, in a basic humanist sense.

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