Hersh, Fisk, Other Journalists Discuss Iraq

[Cross-posted from Blue Mass. Group] An interesting panel today at Columbia University by four war correspondents: Seymour Hersh, a regular contributor to The New Yorker; Robert Fisk, Middle East correspondent for British newspaper The Independent; John Pilger, who has twice won British journalism's highest award, "Journalist of the Year;" and Charles Glass, ABC News chief Middle East correspondent from 1983-1993, and current freelance reporter. The panel was hosted by U.S. history professor Eric Foner. The general subject was War Reporting; Iraq was the primary focus. Some highlights:


  • Fiske: "Iraq is a disaster and don't believe anyone who tells you differently." He lamented "hotel journalism:" reporters who file their reports from the Green Zone -- although he acknowledged the danger to correspondents. "When we go to the mortuary we reckon we have 20 minutes before someone with a mobile telephone comes by and there is a carload of gunmen. The New York Times reporters live in a compound guarded by a stockade with towers," he said. However, he added, the U.S. and British authorities, "like it this way. They do not want reporters going to the morgues and counting dead people." He said Coalition regulations prevent morgue officials from showing computer records to journalists. He said he did get access to a morgue computer system last summer: the system showed 1,100 dead in Baghdad alone in that month. He suggested a deal may have been made between Syria and the U.S.: less focus on the murder of Hariri in return for more cooperation on Iraq.


  • Hersch: Said we have a "Messianic President" who considers himself above politics. "And he's not done." Is there any good news? "There are 1,011 days in the reign of King George the Lesser. The good news is there is one less day tomorrow. That's the only good news." On Iran: "With George Bush what you see is what you get. He's probably going to do it. There are people in the White House who are scared to death about this guy." He did tip his hat to Patrick Fitzgerald. "The Special Prosecutor seems like a pretty straight guy."


  • Tags: Columbia, Iraq, journalism, New York (all tags)

    Comments

    3 Comments

    Re: Hersch, Fiske, Other Journalists Discuss Iraq

    Very important topic. One worthy of discussion. But spelling 'Hersh' and 'Fisk' correctly (which you did in the part you cut and pasted) while misspelling it in your diary title and quote ledes makes it less likely that people will join in and comment.

    Spelling Nazis are annoying. Feel free to be annoyed by me. But it is not unimportant in our world. Thank God Google is so forgiving of 'mispellings'.

    by Bruce Webb 2006-04-14 06:01PM | 0 recs
    Re: Hersh, Fisk, Other Journalists Discuss Iraq

    Quite right. Fixed. Comes of posting too late at night. Now, in fairness, you owe a more substantive comment <del>Brice Brews</del> Bruce.

    by bobneer 2006-04-15 06:48AM | 0 recs
    Re: Hersh, Fisk, Other Journalists Discuss Iraq

    I think the backlash of military commanders is a big "hint" that what Hersh made public last week - that we're already in Iran and getting to make a real go of it - is another big scoop.

    As a Viet Vet, I am glad to see this kind of questioning of Rumsfeld.  (One arrogant ass!)  I also read today where  Lt. Gen.Newbold is asking officers to uphold the Constitution, not the war happy simpletons who control the tools of force.

    Hopefully, Bush will be between a rock and a hard place.  Problem may be that our messianic president may decide that he's one of the 144,000 chosen by God.  

    by willard landreth 2006-04-16 04:39PM | 0 recs

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