Absolutely astounded that someone could be so naive, crass and gullible.
Update: 4 October 2014
Naomi Wolf has posted after NYT reporter contacted her as above:
A commentator below self-identified as being the New York Times reporter covering the hostage crisis. This reporter asked me to take my post about asking for confirmation of the hostage story down, as this reporter said that keeping it up is “irresponsible” and not respectful to the pain of the families involved.
The reporter wrote that there has been a news blackout requested of media for the last two years and that the abductions were known for two years to news outlets, who were respecting the blackout. The reporter also said that it is common tor people in conflict areas to go from the military to nonprofit work.
So I have taken the post down pending more reporting of the questions, at which point I will include the new reporting and repost it with the new information included. I asked the reporter to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, first so I can confirm this is indeed the New York Times reporter who is covering the hostage crisis, and second because, as I wrote back, we still have several unanswered questions we have been putting to the New York Times for some weeks about this story.
First: it is helpful for us to know that there was a news blackout, according to this commentator/reporter (I gather that was reported). But it raises more questions — if there was a news blackout that protected the hostages for the last two years, how are news outlets not endangering them by reporting so widely on the crisis now?
Second: I asked the reporter to help us understand some issues that we have not had solid answers from the New York Times about yet (or other outlets for that matter). One is: if we can assume the identity of the hostages is confirmed (and I would still want to know the reporter’s sources for being certain) — how does the New York Times know the video/s are real? These are two separate reportorial issues. I am not saying they are not — I am saying (as I have said for weeks) that the source of SITE is problematic, that it received half a million dollars in government funding in 2004, that it is a syndication service for media so we can’t seem to double-check the videos online (other people have not been able to find them) and that I was trained, as are all journalists, to have two independently confirmed sources for a news story. As far as I know there is only this one problematic source for most of the videos.
Third: the New York Times public editor told us they “verified the videos internally”. I would like for our readers and the Times’ readers to have more disclosure about this process. I am very familiar with the New York Times’ facility as a family member of mine worked there for many years. Unless this has changed recently, I am not aware that the Time has a video analysis facility. So we just want to understand the process of the Times “verifying the video internally.”
I guess fourth is — this is a public story now; the Times made the decision to run it big, as did every other news outlet. If reporters can ask questions — as they should — I really don’t see how it is irresponsible of citizens (or other reporters) to ask questions as well.
It is a terrible thing, a verified video of an assassination, of course. That should go without saying. But many stories the New York Times and other major outlets have run based on government assurances — including the Weapons of Mass Destruction story — seemed very solid at the time and one would have sounded disrespectful at the time to request confirmation of the reporting; but confirming important news stories is really what reporters are supposed to do.And citizens should be trained to do it too if democracy is to be strong and journalism as well.
The word you are looking for is sorry.
Massive hat tip to Frances Barber
Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog
Correction – mistakenly wrote up as if Naomi Klein rather than Naomi Wolf few minutes ago. Whilst I am sure screen shots from tweets above made clear my error apologises to her and email subscribers. My thanks to those that instantly corrected me on twitter.
Deleted that post. This is the same post bar that obvious correction.