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PostWatch: An irregular correction to the Washington Post

Brought to you by Christopher Rake


Thursday, June 13, 2002
9:41 PM's Hillel Glazer answers a question I asked him:

I'm not sure what I can disclose about the organizers that's of any importance to anyone. It's not like they're Rupert Murdoch or anything. If they were a "name" would it matter?...They're just a bunch of people from the DC metro area who are plain ticked at the Post's poor/biased/untruthful/whatever reporting on the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

It matters. Now, I'm on very thin ice pointing this out, since I'm writing under an assumed cybername, a practice I hope to end relatively soon, not that the world is holding its breath for that one. But going public adds to your credibility and snuffs out conspiracy theories. Hillel tells me the people behind the boycott are:

not necessarily movers and shakers, though some of them have extensive experience in their repertoires in the media, State Department, political/religious activism, and so on... but there are doctors, lawyers, retirees, researchers, civil servants and so on, who aren't any different from the rest of us except that they know the factual, historical, and contextual information that's lacking in the Post coverage of the Middle East and they care enough about the impact of bad reporting to do something about it.

I imagine that these people are like me to the extent they don't want their lives complicated by having to deal with questions being raised by some of their friends and/or employers, but don't want to silence themselves. Fair enough. But the news business suspects secrecy, and that's a good thing. In the long run, if you're going to openly criticize people, you need to stand in the public square out of a sense of fair play and give everyone an opportunity to examine your motives. Hillel Glazer and the letter-writers posted on the group's web site have done that, to their credit.

But just so you know how it looks from the outside, a semi-secret boycott is a little odd.

Hillel adds that after the boycott week ends, the site will remain up "as a kind of PostWatch." Good wishes to all and comments are always welcome.

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