The uprising in Egypt was the kind of story that gets the adrenaline pumping for a foreign correspondent. But the attacks on Greg Palkot of Fox News, Lara Logan of CBS and other journalists reminded the world of the extreme danger that comes with the job. Palkot, who with his cameraman Olaf Wiig was badly beaten in Tahir Square during the height of the violence on the streets of Cairo, says he is ready to go back to work and is even up for an assignment to cover the unfolding revolution in Libya. He gave TV Guide Magazine an update on his condition and reflected on the occupational risks.
TV Guide Magazine: It's been three weeks since you were attacked. How are you feeling?
Palkot: Much better. I had a lot of lacerations to the scalp. I had the final stitches taken out on Tuesday. There was a lot of black and blue on the head as well as the rest of the body. Remarkably, I didn't have a concussion or worse. I had a final check up today — a vision check yesterday and a hearing check today — just to be sure. Somebody was on my side because it worked out OK.
TV Guide Magazine: And how are you doing psychologically?
Palkot: It's OK. It really is. I certainly remember the first 24 hours afterwards. It was so vivid. When I was describing it to colleagues and family and friends, it was quite emotional. For now at least I've been able to compartmentalize it, and I'm able to move on. For the first week after it happened I'd sit and run video of that night — one of the worst nights — that was serious stuff.
TV Guide Magazine: What was your reaction to the coverage of the celebrations when Hosni Muburak stepped down as president?
Palkot: It was an amazing feeling. I was watching in the comfort of my London living room... When he did go my feeling was the whole thing was worth it. In a small way I felt like an intimate part of the whole struggle. I felt a little bit, and underscore a little, of the pain that a lot of the Egyptians felt.
TV Guide Magazine: Foreign correspondents appear to thrive on being in danger zones to tell a big story and be a part of history. After going through something like the attack, does any of that change for you?
Palkot: I don't think so. We always feel the danger. We always feel the risks that we take on. For Fox, I've been through it all — the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, natural crises like the tsunami and earthquakes. You try to take care when you are in those situations. Believe it or not, as horrendous as what we went through that night, we were taking care.
For us it was an option of staying in a building and being incinerated by Molotov cocktails flying from both directions, or being roughed up by the crowd. My point is you make the decisions of how much to expose yourself because at the end of the day you want to be reporting on all of this.
TV Guide Magazine: You've worked side by side with Lara Logan in Afghanistan. What was your reaction when you heard the news about how she was attacked?
Palkot: I feel for her. It was a tough crowd. Even in a crowd that is exultant, crazy things can happen. I haven't had a chance to speak to her personally. I've been contacting people in the CBS family about her. From what I read, it appears that she's improving.
TV Guide Magazine: How soon are you going back to work?
Palkot: I go back to work next week. I feel confident that I can put in the grueling days in the London bureau.
TV Guide Magazine: Do you want to go to Libya?
Palkot: I'd love to be back out there. It's in your instincts. It's what I want to do. I'd be happy to go out there again. It's up to the powers that be at Fox News. Sure, I've been following it. It's an incredible story.