Center for Citizen Media Rotating Header Image

McClatchy Defends its Honor, and Truth

The Knight Ridder, now McClatchy, Washington Bureau was a singular hero among journalists who value great reporting and honor back during the run-up to the Iraq war and its disastrous prosecution. I was, and remain, honored to have been employed by the same company during that period when so many other journalists abandoned their duties.

Now, in the aftermath of the Scott McClellan book, the bureau goes after the continuing unwillingness of those same media people to own up to their failures. In the Nukes & Spooks blog, McClatchy’s Warren P. Strobel and Jonathan S. Landay write, among other things:

The news media have been, if anything, even more craven than the administration has been in defending its failure to investigate Bush’s case for war in Iraq before the war.

Read the piece, which has voluminous documentation of the bureau’s great work. And you’ll understand why I was proud to be associated with these journalists — and why I, like so many others who care desperately about the vital craft, fear for our republic in the wake of the ongoing scandal.

2 Comments on “McClatchy Defends its Honor, and Truth”

  1. #1 Jon Garfunkel
    on Jun 1st, 2008 at 8:15 pm

    How pedestrian. I had great respect for Landay & Strobel before (in 2005, when I heard about their work), but this is just pathetic that they have to toot their own horn here.

    As the *first comment* to their “blog post” states: “This deserves, though, a larger forum that the Nukes and Spooks blog site. It’s time for a front page editorial.”

    Indeed: recognizing the good work that reporters do should be the responsibility of the editors & publishers, not the reporters themselves. (Minor point: “Front page” is probably less important as “search-engine optomized” these days.)

    And none of that blog post *helps* the debate any. (It’s just horn-tooting.) If we really want media reform, we should demand transparency here. If NBC wants to defend itself by saying that it was the Pentagon that was making specific criticisms of coverage, well, they should have gotten in the practice of making an audit trail. (Such level of detail is what made the NYT’s expose of coached-military-analysts all the more effective.)

    This is all the more frustrating that armchair critics keep echoing the meme “Even a Republican said that Big Media is Insufficiently Critical!” rather than looking at specific problems & remediations here.

  2. #2 Dan Gillmor
    on Jun 2nd, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    Why is it pathetic? It’s not just horn-tooting, but evidence of the entire point. Sure the publishers should be doing this, but since they probably won’t, it’s entirely fair for the reporters to set the record straight.