Tuesday, January 18, 2005

New York Times Smears Iraqi Bloggers

Normally I wouldn't link to a story Instapundit already discovered, because an Insta-link is generally sufficient to attract attention without my meager assistance. But this is one I can't let go.

Insty links to Ed Cone, and Jeff Jarvis regarding a story in the New York Times today, in which reporter Sarah Boxer demonstrated some incredible errors in basic journalism and basic judgement. Jarvis is the one who most thoroughly takes her article apart.

Here's the cliff-notes version. Boxer used the NYT to spread a rumor that the bloggers from Iraq the Model work for the CIA or Defense Department. As Jarvis shows, the allegation is entirely unfounded, and Ms. Boxer did almost no investigation into it. She's just rumor-mongering here. Worse, in the article Boxer recognizes the danger these bloggers might be under for being pro-American and then publishes their full names, something they have scrupulously avoided doing themselves for obvious security reasons.

This is an outrageous act for several reasons. Let me just spout off a few that really gall me.

  1. The New York Times is well aware that anti-democratic forces intend to increase acts of terrorism leading up to the election. Boxer just placed an inviting target on the backs of these people. Her editors didn't see a problem here.
  2. We continually hear that the difference between blogs and legacy media is in fact checking and professionalism. Where were either one on display here? Will the reporter suffer any consequences here? Don't bet on it.
  3. She simply cannot accept the fact that even some Iraqis are pro-American. Evidence be damned. "Fake but accurate" seems to be catching on.
Without the blogosphere this kind of lazy smear-job pretending to be "reporting" would go virtually unchallenged.


Post a Comment

<< Home