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Saturday, April 30, 2005

A look at New York Times' sourcing 
A reader writes in with an astute observation about this New York Times article:

"Since when are Marine corps corporals considered "intelligence experts?"

Good question. An E-4 organic to a line company is not going to be an "intelligence expert" by any stretch of the imagination. He has a secret clearance, most likely, but so does every RTO and 2nd Lieutenant in theater.

If he were in fact an intelligence "expert" he could have gotten his hands on some better imagery while in theater.

Now, it does say he's now working for the DIA, but the story doesn't mention what it is he does. For all we know, he's Dilbert. He may have a proficiency with a certain substrata of intelligence research. But not every 1-year rookie at the DIA constitutes an "intelligence expert," either.

I mean, when the Times' financial desk needs an expert quote about retirement plans, do the call the trainee's desk at Merrill Lynch and ask to talk to the junior broker?

Now, if the New York Times is so clueless they can interview any Joe Schmoe E-4 in theater and call him an "expert," well, that explains quite a bit, doesn't it?

Splash, out

Jason

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