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Hello Hassan, Thanks for sharing. Pulitzer winner Rick Bragg who authored/concocted the Jessica Lynch book DOES have a record. You'll find a mini selection of relevant articles below. Andreas ----------------- 1) Rick Bragg's Lousy Alibi 2) Pulitzer winner Rick Bragg is penalized in Blair's wake --------------------- 1) http://slate.msn.com/id/2083607/ Rick Bragg's Lousy Alibi The suspended New York Times reporter insists-wrongly-that everybody does it. By Jack Shafer Posted Tuesday, May 27, 2003, at 4:27 PM PT On Friday, New York Times reporter Rick Bragg insisted to the Columbia Journalism Review he'd done nothing wrong in claiming 1) the byline for a story that an unpaid free-lancer had reported for him and 2) the dateline "Apalachicola, Fla.," after visiting the town only briefly. (See "Rick Bragg's 'Dateline Toe-Touch.' ") "I wouldn't have done anything different," Bragg tells CJR. Bragg reiterates that position to the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz again today-as he pre-announces his resignation from the New York Times. He tells Kurtz: I have dictated stories from an airport after writing the story out in longhand on the plane that I got from phone interviews and then was applauded by editors for "working magic." . Those things are common at the paper. Most national correspondents will tell you they rely on stringers and researchers and interns and clerks and news assistants. Bragg continues his defense, saying Times stringers and interns "should get more credit for what they do," but in "taking feeds" from such assistants, "I have never even thought of whether or not that is proper. Maybe there is something missing in me. ..." I will take it from a stringer. I will take it from an intern. I will take it from a news assistant. If a clerk does an interview for me, I will use it. I'm going to send people to sit in for me if I don't have time to be there. It is not unusual to send someone to conduct an interview you don't have time to conduct. It's what we do. In his pique and all his declarations of innocence, Bragg would like readers to believe he is the victim of the post-Blair "poisonous atmosphere" that's settled over the Times. The real issue isn't Rick Bragg's conduct, he asserts; it's the backroom politics of the New York Times, and he's just the pawn in that elaborate struggle. Everyone who ever wanted to get even for a slight or unpleasantry or act out their jealousy now has their chance, and it will continue. . What I don't understand is the callousness of some people who would try to use this situation to settle their political squabbles. It is shameful that some people are using it in a power grab at the newspaper. It's just about the saddest thing I've ever seen. Bragg maintains that his editors were "fully aware" of his Apalachicola methodology, citing the approved techniques he used in reporting from the Oklahoma City bombings. Details for those stories came from "a stack four feet high" of clips from the Oklahoman, the Dallas Morning News, the Houston Chronicle, and other papers. "From each one of the stories I took a piece of the pain he had caused people," Bragg tells the Post. "We backed it up with interviews. That's what we're supposed to do. We gather the string that's out there." Before we allow Bragg to blame his troubles on Times internal politics or let him imply that the Times knew what he was up to and that everybody does what he does, let's review Times policies on datelines and bylines. Let's also determine which of those policies Bragg violated. Via e-mail, Times spokeswoman Catherine J. Mathis takes her best shot at sorting it all out for you. Mathis on the Times' official dateline and byline policy: A dateline guarantees that a reporter (the bylined one, if there is a byline) was at the specified place on the date given, and provided the bulk of the information, in the form of copy or, when necessary, of notes used faithfully in a rewrite. Especially in a story so vivid in reconstructing sights and sounds, readers logically infer that the bylined correspondent has heard the voices and experienced the scenes. This is why we believe the story from Apalachicola in June 2002 required a correction. Mathis on Bragg's violation: Mr. Bragg had traveled to Florida and had set out to write a much broader story about the impact of development on the rivers that feed the bay off the Florida Panhandle. He was working out of one town in Florida. He had asked a freelancer to gather some information about the impact of development on the oyster business in another town, Apalachicola, which is about 90 minutes away. Mr. Bragg changed the approach of the story to focus on the impact of development on the oyster business based on the information and reporting that the freelancer brought to him. (Mr. Bragg did visit Apalachicola briefly.) Given the amount of reporting the freelancer did, he should have also had a byline on the story. Mathis won't answer the question of whether the free-lancer in question, J. Wes Yoder, could have possibly qualified for a byline had Bragg informed his bosses about Yoder's participation. "It's not our policy to employ unpaid freelancers," is the best Mathis will do. That said, Bragg appears to be guilty of three counts of editorial deceit in hiring an unpaid, undisclosed, and unauthorized helper-essentially subcontracting his work to others without his bosses' consent. More clarity from the Times on when, where, and how stringers are used would produce much needed enlightenment-for both its reporters and readers. Mathis on who doles out credit: The editors in the respective departments determine whether or not freelance journalists receive byline credit subject to the guidelines noted above. This policy point prompts the question, what did Bragg's editors know about his use of stringers? If they knew he was using Yoder throughout the summer of 2002-Yoder broke bread with Bragg and Executive Editor Howell Raines in Birmingham, Ala.,-the failure was partly theirs, and they should say so. If Times editors knew what Bragg was up to, did they cut him slack because of his close friendship with Raines? The internal committee headed by Times Assistant Managing Editor Allan Siegal, assigned to review Times newsroom practices in the wake of the Jayson Blair affair, will also examine the paper's byline and dateline practices. There's no question that Bragg's Apalachicola methodology violates Times policy, and his conduct there differs radically from his work in Oklahoma City. Bragg spent real time in OK City, deserving the dateline; he claims he fortified the information he sifted from the newspaper clips with independent interviews. Yes, reporters everywhere do what he did in OK City. But no, they don't-and shouldn't-do what he did in Apalachicola. In mounting his inept "everybody does it" self-defense, Bragg doesn't cite another Times case remotely comparable to that of Apalachicola. Although other Times stringers, interns, and staffers have alleged cases in which reporting for the Times was improperly credited, none has alleged to me a provable violation as dramatic as Bragg's. In general, it's a point of pride for newspaper reporters not to slough the reporting off on assistants. Today's Wall Street Journal recounts how an intern-of the paid variety-collected almost all of the courtroom quotations for Bragg-bylined stories about a Miami trial. While you can question the ethics of sending a paid intern-whom you don't credit-to stake out a courtroom while you do additional reporting and writing from the local Miami office, this, too, is entirely different from visiting Apalachicola for a couple of hours solely to claim the dateline and foster the illusion that you'd seen the story yourself. The Apalachicola text reveals how Bragg infused the piece with its fraudulent sense of immediacy. He repeatedly invokes the word "here" to imply an intimacy with his subjects and the environs, even though he didn't do any of the interviews with the oystermen. [Emphasis added.] More and more, life here feels temporary. . As in any society, there are layers here. . A man has to get very drunk not to think about the future here. . While environmentalists call the bay pristine, people who have lived here the longest say change has long since come. . The people have a toughness in them here. . Obviously, the journalistic profession should better codify 1) exactly how much work a stringer must do before earning a byline credit and 2) how many minutes a reporter need occupy the city limits of his dateline in order to claim it. But the lack of a hard-and-fast standard doesn't mean I don't know journalistic scamming when I see it. Reconstituting a "you are there" story from somebody else's notes and conducting a touch-and-go landing to claim the dateline violates not only Times policy, but any sober person's elemental sense of intellectual honesty. ****** Bragg correspondence read here: firstname.lastname@example.org . Related in Slate It's very hard to catch reporters who go off the reservation. Last week, this column criticized Bragg for cutting corners. Michael Kinsley reminds journalists everywhere of their extraordinary debt to the New York Times, from whom they pillage without so much as a note of thanks. ----------------- 2) http://www.bayarea.com/mld/cctimes/news/5936756.htm Posted on Sat, May. 24, 2003 Pulitzer winner Rick Bragg is penalized in Blair's wake By Howard Kurtz WASHINGTON POST The fallout over the Jayson Blair debacle at the New York Times has hit a far more prominent Times reporter, Pulitzer Prize winner Rick Bragg. In an editor's note Friday, the paper said that Bragg had only briefly visited the Florida town of Apalachicola, from which he filed a story last June, and that most of the reporting had been done by a stringer. That freelance reporter, J. Wes Yoder, should have shared a byline with Bragg, the paper said. Times sources said Friday that Bragg has been suspended, although the duration of the sanction could not be learned. The Columbia Journalism Review reported Friday that the suspension was for two weeks. Times spokeswoman Catherine Mathis declined to comment on whether Bragg had been disciplined. Asked if this was a serious infraction, Mathis said: "The story was accurate, and Bragg did indeed go to Apalachicola, though briefly." Asked if disciplinary action had been taken, Mathis said the paper does not comment on such matters. She said the Blair controversy "has produced a variety of tips" about questionable work by other Times reporters, "and we have telephoned reporters to pursue those tips." Bragg did not return calls Friday, but he said in a recent interview from his New Orleans home that he has never faked a dateline. He acknowledged that he sometimes relies on stringers and researchers and may visit a given town only briefly because of deadline pressures. "I've made plenty of mistakes," Bragg said, but insisted he is constantly getting on and off airplanes and had never been dishonest in his reporting. At another time, Bragg's feature about struggling oystermen on the Gulf Coast would have drawn little notice. Times staffers say that national bureau reporters like Bragg are under constant pressure from executive editor Howell Raines and his management team to get in and out of cities quickly and accumulate as many datelines as possible. Some staffers may touch down in a city shortly before deadline and file a piece based largely on phone interviews done by researchers in New York -- a practice that, to varying degrees, other newspapers sometimes pursue in tight deadline situations. Bragg, who considered leaving the Times two years ago after publishing his second book, is known to believe that he has become a target within the paper because he is close to fellow Southerner Raines, who had to approve all his assignments. Bragg is renowned for his portraits of hard-living, hard-drinking Southerners, as typified by his first book, "All Over but the Shoutin'," a best-selling account of how his impoverished mother raised him and his two brothers in the Deep South. That kind of writing about Southern characters earned him a Pulitzer for his Times work in 1996. Yoder, now a reporter at the Anniston (Ala.) Star, said in an interview Friday that he had volunteered to be an assistant to Bragg and was never an official Times stringer. He did interviews and other reporting for Bragg on 15 stories, with the oystermen yarn involving the most work, and didn't feel exploited when Bragg got all the credit. "We have nothing to hide," Yoder said. "We didn't do anything wrong." -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----- Original Message ----- From: "Muhamed Ali" <Muhamed.Ali@Hackney.gov.uk> To: "as-ilas" <email@example.com>; "casi" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sent: Wednesday, November 12, 2003 4:48 PM Subject: RE: [casi] Dreamers and Idiots Dear colleagues, To-day's Guardian covers Iraq extensively. Private Lynch's media war continues as Iraqi doctors deny rape claim Sexual assault would have killed injured soldier, says medical team http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1083110,00.html There is also a feature in Guardian G2 on the Iraqi lawyer, who helped saving Private Lynch's life. Regards, Muhamad -----Original Message----- From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of as-ilas Sent: 12 November 2003 11:19 To: casi Subject: [casi] Dreamers and Idiots ".... None of this matters to the enthusiasts for war. That these conflicts were unjust and illegal, that they killed or maimed tens of thousands of civilians, is irrelevant, as long as their aims were met. So the hawks should ponder this. Had a peaceful resolution of these disputes been attempted, Osama bin Laden might now be in custody, Iraq might be a pliant and largely peaceful nation finding its own way to democracy, and the prevailing sentiment within the Muslim world might be sympathy for the United States, rather than anger and resentment. Now who are the dreamers and the useful idiots, and who the pragmatists? " http://www.monbiot.com/dsp_article.cfm?article_id=620 Dreamers and Idiots Bush and Blair did everything necessary to prevent the outbreak of peace By George Monbiot. Published in the Guardian 11th November 2003 Those who would take us to war must first shut down the public imagination. They must convince us that there is no other means of preventing invasion, or conquering terrorism, or even defending human rights. When information is scarce, imagination is easy to control. As intelligence gathering and diplomacy are conducted in secret, we seldom discover - until it is too late - how plausible the alternatives may be. So those of us who called for peace before the wars with Iraq and Afghanistan were mocked as effeminate dreamers. The intelligence our governments released suggested that Saddam Hussein and the Taliban were immune to diplomacy or negotiation. Faced with such enemies, what would we do?, the hawks asked, and our responses felt timid beside the clanking rigours of war. To the columnist David Aaronovitch, we were "indulging ... in a cosmic whinge".1 To the Daily Telegraph, we had become "Osama bin Laden's useful idiots".2 Had the options been as limited as the western warlords and their bards suggested, this may have been true. But, as many of us suspected at the time, we were lied to. Most of the lies are now familiar: there appear to have been no weapons of mass destruction and no evidence to suggest that, as President Bush claimed in March, Saddam had "trained and financed ... al Qaeda".3 Bush and Blair, as their courtship of the president of Uzbekistan reveals, appear to possess no genuine concern for the human rights of foreigners. But a further, and even graver, set of lies is only now beginning to come to light. Even if all the claims Bush and Blair made about their enemies and their motives had been true, and all their objectives had been legal and just, there may still have been no need to go to war. For, as we discovered last week, Saddam Hussein proposed to give Bush and Blair almost everything they wanted before a shot had been fired.4 Our governments appear both to have withheld this information from the public and to have lied to us about the possibilities for diplomacy. Over the four months before the coalition forces invaded Iraq, Saddam Hussein's government made a series of increasingly desperate offers to the United States. In December, the Iraqi intelligence services approached Vincent Cannistraro, the CIA's former head of counter-terrorism, with an offer to prove that Iraq was not linked to the September 11th attacks, and to permit several thousand US troops to enter the country to look for weapons of mass destruction.5 If the object was regime change, then Saddam, the agents claimed, was prepared to submit himself to internationally-monitored elections within two years.6 According to Mr Cannistraro, these proposals reached the White House, but were "turned down by the president and vice president."7 By February, Saddam's negotiators were offering almost everything the US government could wish for: free access to the FBI to look for weapons of mass destruction wherever it wanted, support for the US position on Israel and Palestine, even rights over Iraq's oil.8 Among the people they contacted was Richard Perle, the security adviser who for years had been urging a war with Iraq. He passed their offers to the Central Intelligence Agency. Last week he told the New York Times that the CIA had replied, "Tell them that we will see them in Baghdad."9 Saddam Hussein, in other words, appears to have done everything possible to find a diplomatic alternative to the impending war, and the US government appears to have done everything necessary to prevent one. This is the opposite to what we were told by George Bush and Tony Blair. On March 6th, 13 days before the war began, Bush said to journalists, "I want to remind you that it's his choice to make as to whether or not we go to war. It's Saddam's choice. He's the person that can make the choice of war and peace. Thus far, he's made the wrong choice.".10 Ten days later, Blair told a press conference, "we have provided the right diplomatic way through this, which is to lay down a clear ultimatum to Saddam: cooperate or face disarmament by force ... all the way through we have tried to provide a diplomatic solution."11 On March 17th, Bush claimed that "Should Saddam Hussein choose confrontation, the American people can know that every measure has been taken to avoid war".12 All these statements are false. The same thing happened before the war with Afghanistan. On September 20th 2001, the Taliban offered to hand Osama bin Laden to a neutral Islamic country for trial if the US presented them with evidence that he was responsible for the attacks on New York and Washington.13 The US rejected the offer. On October 1st, six days before the bombing began, they repeated it, and their representative in Pakistan told reporters "we are ready for negotiations. It is up to the other side to agree or not. Only negotiation will solve our problems."14 Bush was asked about this offer at a press conference the following day. He replied, "There's no negotiations. There's no calendar. We'll act on [sic] our time."15 On the same day, Tony Blair, in his speech to the Labour party conference, ridiculed the idea that we could "look for a diplomatic solution". "There is no diplomacy with Bin Laden or the Taliban regime. ... I say to the Taliban: surrender the terrorists; or surrender power. It's your choice."16 Well, they had just tried to exercise that choice, but George Bush had rejected it. Of course, neither Bush nor Blair had any reason to trust the Taliban or Saddam Hussein: these people were, after all, negotiating under duress. But neither did they have any need to trust them. In both cases they could have presented their opponents with a deadline for meeting the concessions they had offered. Nor could the allies argue that the offers were not worth considering because they were inadequate: both the Taliban and Saddam Hussein were attempting to open negotiations, not to close them: there appeared to be plenty of scope for bargaining. In other words, peaceful resolutions were rejected before they were attempted. What this means is that even if all the other legal tests for these wars had been met (they had not), both would still have been waged in defiance of international law. The charter of the United Nations specifies that "the parties to any dispute ... shall, first of all, seek a solution by negotiation."17 None of this matters to the enthusiasts for war. That these conflicts were unjust and illegal, that they killed or maimed tens of thousands of civilians, is irrelevant, as long as their aims were met. So the hawks should ponder this. Had a peaceful resolution of these disputes been attempted, Osama bin Laden might now be in custody, Iraq might be a pliant and largely peaceful nation finding its own way to democracy, and the prevailing sentiment within the Muslim world might be sympathy for the United States, rather than anger and resentment. Now who are the dreamers and the useful idiots, and who the pragmatists? www.monbiot.com References: 1. David Aaronovitch, 16th November 2001. Stop trying to stop the war. Start trying to win the peace. The Independent. 2. Throughout the bombing campaign in Afghanistan, the Telegraph ran a col umn on its leader page entitled "Useful Idiots", dedicated to attacking campaigners for peace. 3. George Bush, 6th March 2003. National Press Conference in the White House. http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/03/20030306-8.html 4. James Risen, 6th November 2003. Iraq Said to Have Tried to Reach Last-Minute Deal to Avert War. The New York Times; Bill Vann, 7th November 2003. Washington rejected sweeping Iraqi concessions on eve of war. http://www.wsws.org/articles/2003/nov2003/iraq-n07.shtml; Newsweek Web Exclusive, 5th November 2003. Lost Opportunity? On the eve of the invasion of Iraq, Defense officials were offered a secret, back-channel opportunity to talk peace with Saddam. http://www.msnbc.com/news/989704.asp; Julian Borger, Brian Whitaker and Vikram Dodd 7th November 2003. Saddam's desperate offers to stave off war. The Guardian. 5. Julian Borger, Brian Whitaker and Vikram Dodd, ibid. 6. ibid. 7. ibid. 8. Newsweek Web Exclusive, ibid 9. James Risen, ibid. 10. George Bush, 6th March 2003, ibid. 11. Tony Blair, 16th March 2003. Press Conference with George Bush and Jose Maria Aznar, the Azores. 12. George Bush, 17th March 2003. Remarks by the President in Address to the Nation. 13. Luke Harding and Rory McCarthy, 21st September 2001. Bush rejects Bin Laden deal. The Guardian. 14. Julian Borger, 3rd October 2001. White House rejects call for proof; Taliban 'ready to negotiate'. The Guardian. 15. Julian Borger, ibid. 16. Tony Blair, 2nd October 2001. Speech to the Labour Party conference, Brighton. 17. Article 33, Charter of the United Nations. The full text of this article reads: "1. The parties to any dispute, the continuance of which is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security, shall, first of all, seek a solution by negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means of their own choice. 2. The Security Council shall, when it deems necessary, call upon the parties to settle their dispute by such means." _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk