Archive for February 8, 2010

Hidden within the Clark Hoyt’s NYT public editor piece on if there is a conflict of interest in the Time’s middle east reporting since Ethan Bronner, the Jerusalem bureau chief of The Times, has a son in the Israeli military:

I asked David K. Shipler, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, what he would do. Shipler was The Times’s Jerusalem bureau chief a generation ago and its chief diplomatic correspondent until he left the paper in 1988. He said foreign correspondents operate in far more nuanced circumstances than readers may realize. They may rely on translators and stringers with political ties or biases that have to be accounted for. They develop their own relationships that enrich their reporting, just as Bronner’s son’s military service could open a conduit for information that other reporters might not have. emphasis mine.

This is something that the MSM has not emphasized in the past, but blogs on the Right have. In the words of Ralph Peters at the time:

The dangerous nature of journalism in Iraq has created a new phenomenon, the all-powerful local stringer. Unwilling to stray too far from secure facilities and their bodyguards, reporters rely heavily on Iraqi assistance in gathering news. And Iraqi stringers, some of whom have their own political agendas, long ago figured out that Americans prefer bad news to good news. The Iraqi leg-men earn blood money for unbalanced, often-hysterical claims, while the Journalism 101 rule of seeking confirmation from a second source has been discarded in the pathetic race for headlines.

To enhance their own indispensability, Iraqi stringers exaggerate the danger to Western journalists (which is real enough, but need not paralyze a determined reporter). Dependence on the unverified reports of local hires has become the dirty secret of semi-celebrity journalism in Iraq as Western journalists succumb to a version of Stockholm Syndrome in which they convince themselves that their Iraqi sources and stringers are exceptions to every failing and foible in the Middle East. The mindset resembles the old colonialist conviction that, while other “boys” might lie and steal, our house-boy’s a faithful servant.

The result is that we’re being told what Iraqi stringers know they can sell and what distant editors crave, not what’s actually happening.

To hear the NYT finally (albeit accidentally) admit that there are biases involved in stringers is long overdue.

Oh and BTW. It is a conflict, but as long as it is disclosed to the reader then I don’t have a huge problem with it. If the reader knows the source for a potential bias they can adjust judge a piece accordingly. NOT disclosing the conflict would be a dishonorable breech of journalistic ethics and we all know how important that is to the NYT. HA!

Before he became Mr. Hyde Charles Johnson used to touch on the use and the biases of these stringers.

To the shock of nobody, Morning Joe goes after Sarah Palin as a one trick pony this morning. I can guarantee that this week Deepak Chopra will be there to tout his story in the huff po.

It is interesting to note what journalists from abroad saw vs some on the left that already has their own image of both the Tea Parties and Sarah Palin.

If you want to be surprised, be surprised that they haven’t gone nuts over her hand like the rest of the left UPDATE: Andrea Mitchell does it later in the cast. If you are surprised at the hand job jokes from our enlightened members of the left who are supposedly not a bit sexist then you haven’t read the reclusive leftist at all in the last 18 months:

Will it never end? Tonight the news is full of yammering about Sarah Palin writing on her hand. This is apparently more evidence that she is a moron bimbo from outer space, etc., etc., etc.

I used to have a boyfriend who wrote on his hand. I thought it was a rather juvenile habit for a grownup, but whatever. (I used to ask him why he didn’t just buy a fricking notepad. He insisted that hands were more convenient.) The thing is, nobody ever accused him of being stupid because of it. He had a graduate degree or two and was a successful executive in the financial industry.

What kinds of things did he write on his hand? The same kinds of things I write on my notepad. Words. Names. Reminders that are meaningless to anyone else.

So Sarah Palin writes on her hand. Just like my ex-boyfriend. Big whoop.

And if it isn’t hand jobs, it is a Chris Wallace eye roll? Give me a break!

Watching Andrea Mitchell this morning I’m shocked she doesn’t have a coronary every time Palin goes on stage anywhere. Oh now Mitchell goes with the hand stuff. What a bunch of losers!

Founding Bloggers puts it best:

Note to the left: You can read the writing on the hand, or the writing on the wall. Take your pick.

They have made their pick.

Hey Joe how is that book selling for ya?

Update: Legal Insurrection spots more Liberal Misogyny.