Actually, even though he's not sitting at a desk each night reading from a teleprompter or filing stories for Dateline NBC, Arthur Kent has never left the business of real news, having filmed and produced a number of documentaries coming out of the Middle East. Now he has just launched a new Web site that will feature a series of exclusive filmed reports. If you're looking for fluff, you won't find it here.
You may recall he was the man given the title "SCUD Stud" after reporting from the rooftop in Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War. Not too long after that, you may then recall the dispute between NBC and Kent that went to court. Talk about David going against Goliath, but the outcome proved that sometimes the giant can crumble when the truth is on the "little guy's" side. Kent recounted the dramatic story in his book Risk and Redemption: Surviving the Network News Wars. The book was published in 1996 and shed an unflattering light on where genuine news was heading. Not a whole lot has changed.
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The lawsuit that Kent won helped him create his own production company, Fast Forward Films Limited of London, and he has been continuously traveling to war torn regions to show what is transpiring in his award-winning documentaries. What's sadly amusing is that there was a piece in today's New York Times reporting that NBC news anchor Brian Williams is the first network news anchor to travel to Baghdad since Bob Woodruff was severely injured over a year ago-- kind of brings home that David and Goliath reference.
So, while we as a country were being kept abreast of the goings on of J.Lo and her men, Kent was warning about what was happening elsewhere in his documentary Afghanistan: Captives of the Warlords. Then a few months later, 9/11 happened, catching us unaware.
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One can only imagine the frustration of independent journalists trying to get real news to the airwaves when they are competing with major news channels reporting ad nauseam on celebrities misbehaving, deaths that have occurred weeks ago and, well, just plain nonsense that has no bearing on our lives. After 9/11, Kent's documentary suddenly got the airplay it should have gotten earlier. It doesn't seem as though we took the reminder seriously, though, since the major news channels have been reporting day and night on every possible aspect of Anna Nicole Smith's death. Yes, it's sad, but what about those 16 civilians who died in Kabul? Or all those who are simply trying to live without the specter of death hanging over them on a daily basis?
Be sure to drop by Kent's launch today to discover the details in the anti-narcotics policing in Kabul's airport. Kent says, "The Afghan people are losing confidence in the government ushered in by Western powers. But scandal and corruption continue to spread, with virtually no response from President Karzai or his foreign sponsors."
Check out Kent's Web site daily for a new filmed report. It's safe to say that you'll get information that matters.