Updated on Sat, December 31, 2011 by Anne
In 2001 and 2002 Ashleigh Banfield was a hot correspondent for MSNBC and its parent, NBC. Banfield’s name was talked up as heir-apparent to Katie Couric and eventually Tom Brokaw.
Banfield was a star reporter from the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, talking to Americans covered with ash and dust, after running away from a crashing North Tower.
A few days later, Ashleigh Banfield was anchoring “A Region in Conflict” from Pakistan and Afghanistan. Ms. Banfield is widely considered within NBC News to be unusually gifted in front of the camera, with the sort of confidence and genuine delivery that is shared by an elite few in television news,” reported the New York Times.
Not everyone liked listening to the brainiac Banfield, a naturalized US citizen born in Canada. Because she talked to Arabs about the war from their perspective, she was considered to be unpatriotic by some, making her the target of other newscasters and pundits.
Her most virulent critic, the conservative talk-radio star Michael Savage, hosted a weekly TV show on Banfield’s own network. Incredibly, on the air, Savage called her “the mind-slut with a big pair of glasses” who “looks like she went from porno into reporting.”
Stunned, Banfield complained but her bosses did nothing.
Increasingly concerned about the highly patriotic coverage of