Sunday, July 24, 2011

Roy Gutman should be fired


Roy Gutman's a reporter, a bad one, for McClatchy Newspapers.

Last week, he appeared on Antiwar Radio where he revealed to Scott Horton
that the US had to do this and must do this and blah blah and blah and blah blah blah.

Did Roy forget he wasn't an opinion columnist?

Before we go further, it might be worth noting the current issue of The Progressive which contains an interview with journalist Chris Hedges who explains what happens when he aired his opinions on the Iraq War.

Q: You gave the commencement address at a college in Illinois two months after Bush launched the Iraq War. That rubbed your editors at The New York Times the wrong way. Why?

Hedges: Because I was booed off the stage. The Progressive actually ran a transcript of the whole talk with what people shouted in brackets. The Times editors were pressured to respond, and they responded by calling me into the office and giving me a formal written reprimand for impugning the impartiality of The New York Times. We were members of the Newspaper Guild, and the process is that you give the employee a written warning and then, under Guild rules, the next time the employee violates that warning, you can fire them. So once I was handed that written warning, it was terminal, because I wasn’t about to stop speaking out against the Iraq War. I approached Hamilton Fish at the Nation Institute about becoming a senior fellow there and leaving the Times. I did leave the Times; I wasn’t fired. But if I had stayed long enough, I would have been fired. That was inevitable.

So being against illegal war and airing that if you're a reporter can 'impugn the impartiality' of a news outlet? What about when you go the other way?

That's what Roy Gutman did in his interview with Scott Horton.

US troops needed to remain in Iraq beyond 2011 and they needed to be called "trainers." That's what Gutman told everyone. And that Nouri was a near genius while Ayad Allawi is "feckless and inept," "no where near as impressive as Maliki's been."

For those who don't know, in Iraq a power struggle continues, as it has since the March 10, 2010 elections, between Nouri al-Maliki and Ayad Allawi. For those who don't know, Allawi's political slate won the March 10th elections. Iraqiya is currently floating that they may lodge a no-confidence vote and try to trigger early elections.

And Roy Gutman, reporter for McClatchy Newspapers, is also the Baghdad Bureau Chief -- which really just means he's the outlet's American voice in Iraq. They don't trust Laith Hammoudi, Sahar Issa or any of the other reporters who've won awards and risked their lives to provide unembedded reporting for Knight-Ridder and McClatchy (Knight-Ridder was sold and became McClatchy).

Asked by Scott Horton about the opinion of the Iraqi people on the US military staying beyond 2011, Roy Gutman felt the need to explain he hadn't had time for "man on the street" interviews. How telling his noun was.

He explained that he was interested in the "political elite" and the "military elite." He's in Iraq, heading the bureau, and he's got no interest in the people of the country?

Anyone else getting the feeling that Roy Gutman is an orphan of the Green Zone? Locked away from real Iraqis, tucked safely in the Emerald City, unable to communicate with average Iraqis and unconcerned with their needs or thoughts -- even on something as basic as whether or not their country should continue to be militarily occupied by the US?

Chris Hedges aired an opinion and was hurried out the door.

Roy Gutman offers opinion and reveals clear biases against a US miltiary withdrawal, against Ayad Allawi and against the Iraqi people.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }