Tuesday 11 December 2007

Milblogger leaves the National Review Online

More evidence that telling the story of conflict from first-hand accounts is a 'fraught project'. W. Thomas Smith Jr, who was blogging at The Tank, has left the NRO after his editor concluded that his reports from Lebanon exaggerated the size of a Hezbollah force in East Beirut.

The Editor of the NRO, Kathryn Jean Lopez apologises to readers saying:
"We should have required Smith to clearly source all of his original reporting from Lebanon. Smith let himself become susceptible to spin by those taking him around Lebanon, so his reporting from there should be read with that knowledge. (We are attaching this note to all his Lebanon reporting.) This was an editing failure as much as it was a reporting failure. We let him down, and we let you down, and we’re taking steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again." (Her emphasis)
In an open letter to NRO readers, W. Thomas Smith Jr says:
"Both NRO and I have taken far too much heat for something which would never have happened had I been more specific in terms of detailing my sourcing while blogging about Lebanon at "The Tank". That is a responsibility I have to accept."


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