July 24, 2003

FIRST THE NEW YORK TIMES, THEN THE BBC -- now Reuters looks to have been caught making things up:

This is from a story that Reuters news service ran this week with my byline:

"Jessica Lynch, the wounded Army private whose ordeal in Iraq was hyped into a media fiction of U.S. heroism, was set for an emotional homecoming on Tuesday . . . Media critics say the TV cameras will not show the return of an injured soldier so much as a reality-TV drama co-produced by U.S. government propaganda and credulous reporters."

Got problems with that?

I do, especially since I didn't write it.

Isn't "byline fraud" at least as bad as Jayson Blair's "dateline fraud?" But there's more Blair-like scandal:

I understand that news wire services often edit, add, remove or write new leads for stories. What amazed me was that a story could have my byline on it when I contributed only a few sentences at the end -- and in later versions I didn't contribute anything at all.

The stories contained apparently fresh material attributed to sources I did not interview.

Reuters should be ashamed. Experience suggests, however, that it won't be.

Meanwhile, is CNN repeating its Iraq dereliction with Iran? Joe Katzman thinks so. Why not? It's not like Eason Jordan got fired or anything. . . .