The Pulitzer Prize winning veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh was once a regular contributor to the New Yorker. He also wrote for the Washington Post. No more.
Rather shameful veteran journalist Seymour Hersh can't get his incredible work on Syria published in US media http://t.co/8TXkQbo3rt
— Kevin Gosztola (@kgosztola) April 6, 2014
A truth-teller shunned by the American mainstream media!
I have little doubt Hersh revels in the image — it plays so well among those who revere him.
But just pause for a minute to think about this: Is Hersh’s reporting so radical, such a threat to the political establishment, that he couldn’t get published by Rolling Stone, or Vanity Fair, or the Boston Review, or Mother Jones, or any of the dozens of new long-form online publications that don’t seem lacking in boldness or creativity?
I doubt it. On the contrary, I think the image of a journalist-in-exile is simply Hersh’s latest vanity.
But if it turns out that there really is no publication this side of the Atlantic that will touch his work, maybe that would say less about a decline in the standards of American journalism and a lot more about the demise of Hersh’s credibility.
When it comes to Hersh’s reporting on Syria, one story that really deserves deeper investigation is whether he has become a stooge for Michael Maloof, a former senior security-policy analyst at the Pentagon who helped gather the bogus intelligence that lay the foundations for the war in Iraq. The fact that both of them have been spinning such similar yarns in recent months seems like more than a coincidence
The most inexcusable feature of Hersh’s reporting is that he effectively functions as his own source. In other words, for readers smitten by his reputation, what he reports is treated as fact for no other reason than the fact that he reported it.
Each time he comes out with a new piece, it’s like Moses coming down from the mountaintop. No one dare ask whether he really heard the voice of God, because no one questions Moses.
For his latest piece, Hersh’s primary source is a “former intelligence official.”
I can picture the two leaning against a bar somewhere in DC as the old hack furiously takes notes. What makes this former official’s word unimpeachable, we’ll never know — suffice to know is that just as Hersh unquestioningly believes his source, we are supposed to believe Hersh, without corroborating sources, without any hard evidence.
Just by chance, a few days ago, Bashar Ja’afari, Syria’s ambassador to the U.N., sent a letter to the Security Council on March 27, saying:
The competent Syrian authorities intercepted a wireless communication between two terrorists in the Jawbar area of Damascus governorate. In that communication, one of the terrorists said that another terrorist named Abu Nadir was covertly distributing gas masks. The authorities also intercepted another communication between the two other terrorists, one of whom is named Abu Jihad. In that communication, Abu Jihad indicates that toxic gas will be used and asked those who are working with him to supply protective masks.
This information … confirms that armed terrorist groups are preparing to use toxic gas in Jawbar quarter and other areas, in order to accuse the Syrian government of having committed such an act of terrorism.
“Terrorists” talking about gas masks who knows when and this “confirms” another gas attack is on the way.
The false flag industry remains as busy as ever — or so the Syrian government’s interlocutors would have you believe.
Those who find Hersh persuasive will probably find the ambassador’s warnings equally persuasive, but in each case it’s not that either is presenting a compelling case. On the contrary, they merely know how to feed their target audience exactly what it wants to hear.