Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Seymour Hersh? Hmmm...pass the salt

Next time you see the name Seymore Hersh on an article, break out the salt shaker.

Pejman points to a comprehensive look at Hersh by Chris Suellentrop in New York Magazine.

Since the Abu Ghraib story broke eleven months ago, The New Yorker’s national-security correspondent, Seymour Hersh, has followed it up with a series of spectacular scoops. Videotape of young boys being raped at Abu Ghraib. Evidence that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi may be a “composite figure” and a propaganda creation of either Iraq’s Baathist insurgency or the U.S. government. The active involvement of Karl Rove and the president in “prisoner-interrogation issues.” The mysterious disappearance of $1 billion, in cash, in Iraq. A threat by the administration to a TV network to cut off access to briefings in retaliation for asking Laura Bush “a very tough question about abortion.” The Iraqi insurgency’s access to short-range FROG missiles that “can do grievous damage to American troops.” The murder, by an American platoon, of 36 Iraqi guards.

Not one of these exclusives appeared in the pages of The New Yorker, however. Instead, Hersh delivered them in speeches on college campuses and in front of organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union and on public-radio shows like “Democracy Now!” In most cases, Hersh attaches a caveat—such as “I’m just talking now, I’m not writing”—before unloading one of his blockbusters, which can send bloggers and reporters scurrying for confirmation.

And so on...

This is a writer who knows how to stay employed at the New York Times by making certain that anything with his name on it, in print, is backed up with enough facts to keep his job secure.
What he is apt to say at a speaking engagement is held to, shall we say, a less rigorous standard.

As they say, caveat emptor.

No comments: