Printer Friendly

60 ahead, burn bridges.

FROM "THE 36 HOURS THAT SHOOK WASHINGTON" BY FRANK RICH IN THE NEW YORK TIMES

POLITICO THEORIZED THAT [Rolling Stone freelancer Michael] Hastings had pulled off his impertinent coup because he was a freelance journalist rather than a beat reporter, and so could risk "burning bridges by publishing many of McChrystal's remarks."

That sentence was edited out of the article--in a routine updating, said Politico--after the blogger Andrew Sullivan highlighted it as a devastating indictment of a Washington media elite too cozy with and protective of its sources to report the unvarnished news.

In any event, Politico had the big picture fight. It's the Hastings-esque outsiders with no fear of burning bridges who have often uncovered the epochal stories missed by those with high-level access. Woodward and Bernstein were young local reporters, nowhere near the White House beat, when they cracked Watergate. Seymour Hersh was a freelancer when he broke My Lai. It was uncelebrated reporters in Knight Ridder's Washington bureau, not journalistic stars courted by Scooter and Wolfowitz, who mined low-level agency hands to challenge the "slam-dunk" W.M.D. intelligence in the run-up to Iraq.

Symbolically enough, Hastings was reporting his McChrystal story abroad just as Beltway media heavies and their most bold-faced subjects were dressing up for the annual White House correspondents' dinner.

COPYRIGHT 2010 Duncan McIntosh Company, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2010 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:COMMENTS & CORRESPONDENCE
Publication:Editor & Publisher
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Aug 1, 2010
Words:216
Previous Article:SEC, cure thyself: Congress must step in to stop the agency's 'securities fraud' threat to journalists.
Next Article:Lordy, Lordy, Mr. Black.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters