Fiddling While It Burns

The bravery and tragedy of the local war correspondent

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I found this story particularly moving.

Picture: NYTimes

August 31, 2010, 7:30 pm

A Colleague Killed, a Conversation Cut Short

Correspondents who covered the war in Iraq are reflecting on their time there and the official end of U.S. combat operations. James Glanz covered Iraq from 2004 to 2008.

On my last afternoon in Iraq, in December 2008, I drove to a graveyard in Baghdad to have a conversation with Khalid Hassan, who had been dead for over a year. All I could do when I got there was kneel in the dust and say, over and over, “I’m sorry.”

Maybe it’s my own bias, but hearing about the death of locally-employed journos in war zones always seems particularly poignant to me. Anyway, it’s a fantastic piece.

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Celebrating Cronkite while ignoring what he did


Sometimes I forget just how beautifully Glenn Greenwald can describe the problems with mainstream journalism. From

“Media stars will spend ample time flamboyantly commemorating Cronkite’s death as though he reflects well on what they do…. In fact, within Cronkite’s actual moments of real journalism one finds the essence of journalism that today’s modern media stars not only fail to exhibit, but explicitly disclaim as their responsibility.”

It’s a pretty narrative story so I recommend reading the whole thing.

In the post-Bush world, many have been just a little too keen to move on, without reflection or reform. The fact is, everything that happened in the last 8 years was due to the failure of those who should have done something about it, from Congress to the courts to the electorate.