Amanpour Still Faults Media for Iraq War; Defends 'God’s Warriors' Series

Long-time CNN foreign correspondent Christiane Amanpour still harbors some resentment toward the American media for the Iraq war.

In September 2003, Amanpour spoke out publicly and said CNN was intimidated by the Bush administration and Fox News, which "put a climate of fear and self-censorship." Over four years later, Amanpour is still disappointed with the media leading up to the invasion of Iraq.

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"I said it before and I'll say it again," Amanpour said. "I believe that we failed as a profession to do our duty which is simply to ask the hard questions, to stay on it, to fact check and to cross-check and to not take one version of the story hook, line and sinker."

Amanpour was the featured guest on "The Kalb Report," a TV and radio show hosted by veteran journalist Marvin Kalb and taped at the National Press Club in Washington on March 10 before a live audience.

She defended her much-criticized three-part controversial series "God's Warriors," which was broadcasted on CNN in August 2007. She told the audience she was not attempting to engage in moral equivalency by trying to equate modern radical Islamic extremism with modern fundamental Judaism or Christianity when asked by Kalb.

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According to Amanpour, the only mistake made in the series was "calling someone representative instead of congressman or something like that."

"[I]t was a rigorous piece of journalism which approached the subject that's on everybody's mind and that is what do we do in this world where politics, culture and society all interconnect and sometimes collide," Amanpour said. "We went out specifically - and this was part of when we promoted it or we talked about it or we went to review it - we chose to focus on the extreme of each of those religions."

According to Amanpour, there were "one or two groups very upset" about the series "whose basic job is to comb through everything the media does and if the media doesn't toe their political line, they're very upset."

Amanpour credited CNN founder Ted Turner for inventing the 24-hour news cycle, but had one critique of it. She felt that it forced policy-makers to react immediately to news when some decisions deserved more deliberate attention. She also said Internet, specifically blogs, played an important role in the news cycle.