Gone Fishin’: What I Missed

I know I’m late to the party on this – and I haven’t seen any of the commentary about it, so I’m probably Johnny Redundant – but what the hell was the New York Times thinking when it ran this piece about kidnapped-by-Iran Newsweek correspondent Maziar  Bahari?

For starters, the Times piece, headlined “Newsweek Steps Up Effort To Free Reporter in Iran,” doesn’t even identify Bahari as a writer for Newsweek until the 13th graf, which says he has “written for the magazine since 1998.”

Previous to that, Bahari is merely described as a “prominent journalist:”

In a statement, the editor of Newsweek, Jon Meacham, said that Mr. Bahari’s “journalistic work in Iran has always been balanced and objective.”

The Times report adds this:

Sam Tradeau, the New York representative for Reporters Without Borders, said that Newsweek initially tried to limit public comments about Mr. Bahari’s arrest, “believing this would be the most efficient way to secure his release, especially because the charges against him were completely baseless and ridiculous.”

Oddly, the Times fails to mention its similar dilemma over the capture of Times reporter David Rohde in Afghanistan – an especially egregious omission in light of the Times’ decision to withhold disclosure of that kidnapping and the paper’s largely successful lobbying effort to persuade other media outlets to do the same.

For its part, Newsweek has lately stepped up its effort to free Bahari.

The Times, on the other hand, needs to step up its disclosure.

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