March 20, 2014
"When American troops left, they took the media’s story with them in their baggage."

Hugh Gusterson at TruthOut. The Iraq War: Forgotten in Plain Sight

On the 11th anniversary of the war in Iraq, the US mainstream media’s decontextualized rendering of violence in Iraq fails to explain political divisions and struggles in Iraq or how this violence is a direct consequence of the US invasion and occupation.

February 20, 2014
"The most sinister change in the way war is perceived springs from what two years ago seemed to be a wholly positive development. Satellite television and the use of information supplied by YouTube, bloggers and social media were portrayed as liberating innovations. The monopoly on information imposed by police states from Syria to Egypt and Bahrain to Tunisia had been broken. But as the course of the uprising in Syria has shown, satellite television and the internet also spread propaganda and hate."

Patrick Cockburn in The London Review of Books. Diary

February 19, 2014
"The paradox is that Julian Assange and the WikiLeaks organization are being treated as a threat instead of what they are: a journalist and a media organization that are exercising their fundamental right to receive and impart information in its original form, free from omission and censorship, free from partisan interests, free from economic or political pressure."

Baltasar Garzón quoted by Glenn Greenwald and Ryan Gallagher at The InterceptSnowden Documents Reveal Covert Surveillance and Pressure Tactics Aimed at WikiLeaks and Its Supporters

December 18, 2013
"Look, if you think any American official is going to tell you the truth, then you’re stupid. Did you hear that?—stupid."

Arthur Sylvester quoted by Morley Safer (1966) from an article by Jon Schwarz at A Tiny RevolutionHas Morley Safer Ever Told John Miller This Story?: ‘Look, If You Think Any American Official Is Going to Tell You the Truth, Then You’re Stupid’

December 12, 2013
"While seeking to re-ignite the “whodunnit” debate about chemical weapons, Hersh’s article unwittingly revealed a lot about the changing nature of investigative journalism. Hersh is old-school. He operates in a world of hush-hush contacts – often-anonymous well-placed sources passing snippets of information around which he constructs an article that challenges received wisdom."

Brian Whitaker at al-bab.comInvestigating chemical weapons in Syria

I got to Whitaker’s piece by way of War in Context. I’m old enough and subscribed to The New Yorker long enough togain a lot of respect for Seymour Hersh and his reporting. But Hersh’s piece in the London Review of Books, Whose Sarin? left me scratching my head. My reaction was flavored with a scepticism about my government making a case for war combined with my ignorance.

From Paul Woodward’s editorials at War in Context, 1, 2, it appears that Woodward thinks Hersh has got it all wrong. Woodward is far more knowledgeable than I, and generally would defer to his opinion. I’m still scratching my head about the Sarin attacks in Syria.

War in Context isso valuable because Woodward points to a wide array of serious reporting on issues. The site is an positive example of the kind of shift that Whitaker points to in investigative journalism. Nowadays reports must relate to credible open-source information available.

December 9, 2013
The imperfect charm of Peter Kaplan | Capital New York

Brilliant writing by Jim Windolf appreciating his friend and colleague.  

December 2, 2013
"I’m extremely proud of the model we’ve created, one that borrows heavily from the WikiLeaks model of worldwide media partnerships, as it’s ensured that no one media outlet has monopolized these documents . Instead, all the stories are reported with the benefit of journalists most familiar with the climate and landscape in the affected countries. That has made the story international in scope, and has made the reporting far better than if it had all been centralized in one place."

Glenn Greenwald at UT Documents. Questions/responses for journalists linking to the Pando post - and other matters

Greenwald responds forcefully to Mark Ames’s piece at Pando. He also criticizes other journalists linking to it. 

A part of me wishes that a response to Ames’s piece were enough, as I’m not really a fan of journalists taking pot shots at each other. But the ways that I get news these days, it’s hard to avoid noticing the pot shots, at least noticing enough to know there’s a history to it. 

Clearly Greenwald bears some animosity towards Josh Marshall. I’ve opened Marshalls Talking Points Memo since 2001.Marshall has taken to his pulpit to criticize Greenwald. I found Marshall’s June piece The Snowden Prism hard to stomach. I pretty much ignore his Twitter stream as his tweets tend toward a kind of chest thumping I find obnoxious. Still, I go to TPM everyday because I find it a good source on political news. And I like Josh Marshall. He’s not blameless in his Greenwald bashing, but quite a few of the commenters at TPM are over the top.

Comments on pieces and Tweets are all a part of transparency. But fighting for fighting sake tends to obscure more than it reveals. It’s a hard problem.To me the response to Ames’s piece seems most substantial.  It was fair play for Greenwald to address this back talk; he’s right that fundamental issues are at stake. 

November 30, 2013
Keeping Secrets: Pierre Omidyar, Glenn Greenwald and the privatization of Snowden's leaks

Mark Ames raises important points. I’m optimistic about Omidyar’s news venture. But I was reminded of Jay Rosen’s post, “Out of the pressbox and into the field” which he wrote having signed on with Omidyar’s group. Rosen wrote:

And so when I speak about it you are entitled to apply whatever discount rate you find appropriate. About the intentions of Pierre Omidyar, the journalism of Glenn Greenwald and the eventual product of NewCo I am no longer an independent analyst rendering judgment. Criticism will have to come from others. And I am sure it will.

The sort of piece Ames wrote is exactly why we need a vigorous free press.  

12:20am  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZEy4qx-qycN8
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November 29, 2013
"In a letter to the White House, 38 news organizations, which included McClatchy, protested: “Journalists are routinely being denied the right to photograph or videotape the president while he is performing his official duties.”"

David Lightman reporting at McClatchyMcClatchy won’t publish photos issued by White House

November 23, 2013
"In many ways, the medium (comics) is like the African continent itself: it’s misrepresented,” he says. “When it comes to the continent, you know, it’s the conflict, it’s war, it’s the famine. And in comics, it’s Spiderman, the Hulk, superheroes! One genre within the medium has grown so large that it eclipses the medium, and people can’t see the potential. Just like it’s hard to see the humanity, the complexity, the drive of all the things Africans are doing, because it’s been eclipsed."

Bunmi Oloruntoba interviewed by Channing Kennedy at ColorLinesBeyond the ‘Single Story’: 3Bute Turns African Lit Into Crowdsourced Comics

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