The media’s reaction to Seymour Hersh’s bin Laden scoop has been disgraceful →

May 18, 2015 |

Trevor Timm, writing at Columbia Journalism Review:

Barrels of ink have been spilled ripping apart Hersh’s character, while barely any follow-up reporting has been done to corroborate or refute his claims—even though there’s no doubt that the Obama administration has repeatedly misinformed and misled the public about the incident. Even less attention has been paid to the little follow-up reporting that we did get, which revealed that the CIA likely lied about its role in finding bin Laden, which it used to justify torture to the public.

Hersh has attempted to force the media to ask questions about its role in covering a world-shaping event—but it’s clear the media has trouble asking such questions if the answers are not the ones they want to hear.

Brutal criticism on the media’s coverage of Hersh’s story. The fact that there’s been more talk about Hersh than the actual story is deeply troubling.

As an individual, you may think Hersh is a loon, and maintaining healthy dose of skepticism is always great, but journalists should be held to a higher standard. Going out on a limb and publicly branding Hersh a “conspiracy theorist” simply because you don’t like the guy is not journalism, it’s tantamount to school yard bullying. We expect that from Twitter, but we deserve better from the media.