Poetic Honors: Liberal Journalism School Gives NBC's Richard Engel an Award Named for Bush-bashing John Chancellor

September 25th, 2013 11:02 PM

TV Newser reported NBC’s chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel is the 2013 recipient of the John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism. “From the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to the Arab Spring and the West Bank, Richard Engel’s courage and integrity inform his reporting,” said Steve Coll, Dean of the Columbia Journalism School and a former editor of The Washington Post.

This is almost poetic: Engel routinely bad-mouthed U.S. wars in the Bush years, and as an NBC commentator after during the first Gulf War, Chancellor infamously announced in 1992 that it was “embarrassing” that more Americans didn’t die from Iraqi fire:

"Greenpeace, the public interest organization, believes that the Iraqi death toll, civilian and military, before and after the war, may be as high as 198,000. Allied military dead are counted in the low hundreds. The disparity is huge and somewhat embarrassing. And that's commentary for this evening, Tom,” Chancellor proclaimed to Tom Brokaw on the March 12, 1992 "NBC Nightly News." It was our “Quote of the Year.”

It all sounds a lot like the CBS version of this honor: giving then-CBS anchor Katie Couric a "Walter Cronkite Award" for whacking around Sarah Palin and helping elect Obama in 2008.

Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism recognized Engel’s “courage under fire and reporting throughout his career that reflects a deep understanding of the Arab world.” They are honoring Engel’s “deep understanding” in bashing the war in Iraq:

In a report on the tenth anniversary of the Iraq War for Tuesday's NBC Today, chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel was unable to conceal his contempt for the conflict: "Iraq's oil money was supposed to pay for the war. It didn't work out that way. From now on, the war set its own agenda, an insurgency erupted that became a religious civil war....Iraqis accuse the United States of invading to find weapons of mass destruction that were never there, and destroying a delicate religious balance."

Engel continued: "The [Bush] White House stopped claiming all was well in Iraq, and thousands more troops surged. The violence dropped, and Americans left. Nine years, almost 4,500 troops killed, 32,000 wounded, 130,000 Iraqi civilians killed. The cost, according to a new study, nearly $2 trillion."