Photo by aturkus

Photo by aturkus

I never thought it would happen, but Ashleigh Banfield is coming back.

Ashleigh Banfield, who made a name for herself earlier in the decade as an anchor/war correspondent on MSNBC, will be joining ABC News, TVNewser has learned.

Banfield, who has been an anchor at CourtTV/truTV since 2005, is expected to join ABC News next year. Without confirming the move, an ABC News spokesperson tells TVNewser, “We like Ashleigh Banfield and admire her work.”

For those of you who may not remember, about a week before Mission Accomplished Ashleigh Banfield unexpectedly and magnificently went off on the media’s coverage of Iraq and the Middle East: the “embedded” reporting that turned war into a glamorous videogame, the willful ignorance of Islamic culture, the love of missing-white-woman stories over substance, and the nonstop cheerleading of Fox News.

And what was her reward for this courageous truth-telling?  She was banished to a closet:

“I was office-less for ten months,” she says. “No phone, no computer. For ten months I had to report to work every day and ask where I could sit. If somebody was away I could use their desk. Eventually, after ten months of this, I was given an office that was a tape closet. They cleared the tapes out and put a desk and a TV in there, and a computer and phone. It was pretty blatant. The message was crystal clear.

“Yet they wouldn’t let me leave. I begged for seventeen months to be let out of my contract. If they had no use for me, let’s just part ways amicably — no need for payouts, just a clean break. And [NBC News President] Neal [Shapiro] wouldn’t allow it…. I will never forgive him for his cruelty and the manner in which he decided to dispose of me.”

But now she’s back, after four years on CourtTV – and on the “Path To 9/11″ network, no less.  Between Banfield’s rehabilitation and Lou Dobbs’ fall from grace, and before that the pushback against the birthers and deathers, I could almost believe that the non-Fox media are slowly fumbling their way back to reality.  If they start describing the Stupak Amendment as a sneak attack on Roe v. Wade, maybe then I’ll let myself hope.