The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Monday, January 05, 2004

New York Times rubbishing the Toledo Blade?

The Blade's marquee piece of the decade is its series on the activities on the Tiger Force in the Vietnamese Highlands in 1967.

Now, the Blade says (January 4), the Times has come up with a piece quoting
a Columbia University graduate student studying history and public health, Nicholas Turse, as saying that there was nothing particularly unusual about Tiger Force's actions, as awful as they were....

"I read through that case a year ago ... and it really didn't stand out. It was just one of hundreds," said Mr. Turse, who is working on a dissertation about American war crimes in Vietnam

The Blade's case is that, whilst Turse
was allowed to see [only ]the long-known public record of the investigation at the National Archives...[t]he Blade reporters, later including Joe Mahr, drew heavily from more than 1,000 classified documents never before made public, including assessments of the case made by Criminal Investigation Command agents.

On this apparently slight evidence, why would the great Gray Lady stoop to rubbish the story of one of its country cousins?

[If the Blade was making much too much of its discoveries, that must be a legitimate topic for discussion. But the suggestion is that, far from a proper review of the Blade story, the Times just ran a cheap spoiler, whose very cheapness was designed to crap on the Blade product.]

These are supposed to be the first days of a new era at the Times - this sort of thing does not help.

Irony: the tight-fisted Times policy means that its piece on the Blade series is locked behind the pay-wall. Whereas the Blade series is available for all to read.

(Link via Romanesko.)

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