Wednesday, March 09, 2005
Journalism, we have a problem: The New York Times reporter Chris Hedges -- last in the news after being booed off the stage at a college graduation ceremony when he went into an anti-American tirade -- apparently has a Jayson Blair problem.
Benjamin Blatt has cross-referenced the account of the Battle of Khafji during Gulf War I in Hedges' book "War is a force that gives us meaning," with his contemporaneous news articles that appeared in the Times.
In 1991, Hedges reports the battle secondhand -- quoting military officials back at base, pool reporters and even reporting 12 Marines as dead -- when there were actually 13 Marines and they were all alive.
In his 2002, book Hedges as actually there, reporting firsthand.
That may make for good fiction, but Hedges book isn't advertised as a work of fiction.
It looks like the Times has another big problem on its hands. Once again, journalism's problems are largely self-inflicted.