Sunday, January 04, 2009

This week's Bronze Boobies

The Katrinas are awarded to the extreme idiots. For the foolish we have the Bronze Boobies. This week, two strut forward eager to bag a Bronze Boobie as they 'cover' Iraq.

First up, Scotty Horton. One of the gravest disappointments of 2008. So bad that we truly wish he'd kept his word to STOP BLOGGING. He said he was done. He posted his 'goodbye cruel world' post at Harper's. And there he was, back again. Scott, how can we stop flipping you off if you never park your car?

Scotty showed up Saturday (1:37 p.m., according to the Harper's time stamp) with "Bush a 'Total Failure' Says Former Iraqi PM." Oh, was that news? Noting the same Saturday morning Reuters' report hours earlier, C.I., knowing the entire world hated the Bully Boy and that it took no courage for Allawi to critique the outgoing Bully Boy, reduced that to an aside and zoomed in on the savage critique Allawi had for the SITTING PRIME MINISTER Nouri al-Maliki. But Scotty skipped that part. Apparently Bush Hatred trumps everything.

Bronze Booby Prize

Grab a Barack Boobie, Scott, and grasp this: If the entire focus of your life is going to remain the outgoing Bully Boy, you're going to have a very limited social circle and even less to talk about. The actual news -- and maybe you'd have to lose the xenophobic idea that only the US matters to realize this was the news -- came when Allawi slammed al-Maliki.

Scotty's attached himself to Barack's right nipple which means the left one's available for Leila Fadel. Fadel is Baghdad bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers and is damn determined to ruin the chain. Jess exchanged e-mails with a former colleague of Fadel's two weeks ago and even the colleague voiced dismay over the s**t Leila's shoveling these days.

Fadel seems damn determined to white-wash everything going on in Iraq. Friday's "Iraq snapshot" explained, "Leila, thinking 'happy thoughts' might have allowed Peter Pan to fly, but there's no evidence to suggest it will do the same for a news outlet." The point was lost on Leila. Friday saw a bombing that took approximately 30 lives (plus the bomber) and wounded over a hundred. So you just knew Leila and that crack bureau she runs in Baghdad would be all over this story, right? Wrong.

No article. If you were McClatchy and spending all the money on a Baghdad bureau (at a time when broadcast networks are leaving Iraq), we think you'd ask, "Where the hell was the f**king article? How the hell did you miss that?"

The Washington Post had their story on it, The Los Angeles Times had their story, The New York Times had their article. And McClatchy? Off yammering about commercial flights. It's the sort of thing that should lead to a sit-down review of job duties.

Other outlets covering the bombing included CNN, The Times of London, and McClatchy's Kansas City Star. Yes, we're aware of that. We're aware that yet again a story has made it into some McClatchy's paper, by McClatchy staff, but a decision was made to keep it off the McClatchy Iraq page. That's another job duty that should be reviewed in a sit-down.

The bureau has serious problems. McClatchy was hoping to syndicate pieces by Iraqi correspondents but that fell apart the minute the thing finally got going because Iraqi correspondents began posting less and less to the paper's Inside Iraq blog. Right there, you had your first indication that there were problems with the bureau and they were hurting the chain (and its reputation). But that got ignored.

Leila has serious problems and her former colleague shared with Jess a theory Jess has since adopted as well: Leila did a s**t poor job covering the treaty masquerading as a Status Of Forces Agreement. And instead of admitting that, she has backed herself into a corner and can't move forward as a result.

There's also her determination to take part in a wave of Operation Happy Talk and ignore bad news out of Iraq. A real bureau chief, for example, would have long ago noted that McClatchy's daily violence report has suffered for months now, that the roundup that once trumped Reuter's FactBox is now regularly trounced each day by that wire service. That's the sort of thing a competent bureau chief would notice and would move to rectify. Immediately.

The fact that Leila Fadel no longer appears to give a damn about anything other than continuing to misinterpret the treaty means she can grab Barack's left one and Scotty doesn't even have to slide over.
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