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, June 21, 2004
 

Murrey Marder, coelacanth of journalism!


I had rather thought he was dead. Not so.

This fixture at the Washington Post through almost four decades is helping with Nieman Watchdog which boasts on its homepage that it
connects reporters and editors with experts, at Harvard and elsewhere, who can help frame probing, penetrating questions in various fields, and then serve as sources.

Marder, apart from his mere longevity, covered two stories often discussed here: McCarthy and Vietnam. The Post was one of the relatively few US newspapers (the Madison Capital-Times was another, from memory) to get in early with highlighting the inconsistencies in McCarthy's claims for State Department contamination with Communist influence. My recollection is that its record on Vietnam was no more or less glorious than the New York Times'. Which is pretty inglorious. (Marder is not in the index to Daniel Hallin's Uncensored War. It's not a very good index, though!)

More on Marder later.

[The Watchdog site noted by David Shaw in the LA Times. He has a graf from Murrey Marder on the reporting of the Tonkin Gulf Incidents [1]:
"It all goes back to 1964 and the Gulf of Tonkin resolution," which essentially authorized President Lyndon Johnson to wage war in Vietnam, Marder says. "I was convinced from the beginning that if the press and Congress had fulfilled their proper watchdog function about that alleged 'unprovoked attack' on a U.S. destroyer by North Vietnamese torpedo boats, we would never have gotten into the scale of warfare we did in Vietnam.

"That weighed on me for the rest of my career," Marder says.]



  1. First discussed here on October 16 2002.


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