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News Desk: Richard Engel and Crew Released After Capture in Syria

ON MONDAY, a flurry of tweets and posts started popping up after a Turkish news report revealed NBC’s chief foreign correspondent had been captured inside Syria. Gawker led the way with blasting it out, but it was also picked up by Breitbart and a diarist at DailyKos, which eventually deleted the post. Tweets were re-tweeted by Michelle Malkin, as well as David Wiegel and David Shuster, with an explosion of tweets following as the news spread widely.

NBC had requested no one circulate the news of Engel and his crews’ capture and it was obvious it was due to the serious nature of trying to get them out. Gawker’s explanation is that they weren’t told of an immediate threat to Engel, which John Cook explained.

There can be little doubt that the news was blasted out by Gawker after the Turkish report in order to get the “scoop.”

Today, great news, as Engel and his crew have been released, which was announced by NBC News.

Richard Engel, the chief foreign correspondent for NBC News, and three of his crew members were freed on Monday after five days in captivity in Syria, the news organization said on Tuesday.

NBC chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel, right, crossed back into Turkey Tuesday after he and his crew were freed unharmed following five days of captivity inside Syria.

The journalists were unharmed. The news organization released a short statement that said, “We are pleased to report they are safely out of the country.”

I did not post on the story Monday, because of the obvious dangers it posed to Engel and others in captivity in Syria. Others ignoring this reality and sharing the news that went public doesn’t change the reality the NBC News crew and its lead reporter were facing.

Some times the gods rescue us from earth’s devils. Richard Engel and his crew got lucky.

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3 Responses to News Desk: Richard Engel and Crew Released After Capture in Syria

  1. mjsmith December 18, 2012 at 9:57 am #

    ‘I thought they were going to take me outside and execute me’: NBC correspondent Richard Engel recounts terrifying kidnap in Syria as he is freed after five days
    Richard Engel and three crew members disappeared on Thursday
    Released Monday after captors came across rebel checkpoint
    Men reveal how they worked together to get through terrifying ordeal
    They were ‘captured by pro-government organisation, the Shabiha, who intended to exchange them with Iranian and Lebanese agents’

  2. mjsmith December 18, 2012 at 10:02 am #

    It seems that western media only shows what is happening from one side of the story. There are many Syrian who fled to Damascus and other safe havens to escape certain death. There is plenty of footage on youtube and other outlets of these “rebels” that is not being reported. I owuld be skeptical of what I see on youtube except for the fact that these horrific films are filmed and uploaded by the people fighting against the Syrian governemtn themselves.

  3. mjsmith December 18, 2012 at 8:59 pm #

    Taylor – Do you know anything about Ukrainian journalist Ankhar Kochneva? –

    Free Ukrainian reporter: Kremlin body to Syrian rebels
    Russian Federation,Media,Politics, Wed, 19 Dec 2012IANS

    Moscow, Dec 19 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The Russian presidential human rights council has demanded that Syrian militants immediately release Ukrainian journalist Ankhar Kochneva.
    The 40-year-old journalist Kochneva’s kidnappers have reportedly threatened to kill her if their demand for a $50 million ransom is not paid by Thursday.
    On Tuesday, Syrian rebels delayed her execution, Ukraine’s 1+1 TV channel reported citing a commander of the Free Syrian Army.

    The TV channel broadcast a video statement by Abu Jandal, an FSA commander, who said the rebels expect Ukraine to meet their demands.
    “We consider the abductors’ actions to be absolutely illegal and immoral, and urge everyone who has any influence on them to do all it takes to save Ankhar Kochneva,” the council said in a statement posted on its website.

    The journalist went missing in early October as she travelled to the city of Homs.
    Kochneva, known as an expert on Syrian affairs, has been in Syria since the start of the conflict. An outspoken supporter of President Bashar al-Assad, she was freelancing for several Russian media outlets, including the NTV, RenTV and RT channels and the Utro.Ru news portal.

    After she was kidnapped in October, she appeared in a video posted on YouTube in which she “confessed” to working for Russian intelligence. Her captors claim Kochneva was armed and had acted as an interpreter for Russian officers.

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