Are you longing for Seymour Hersh Coverage? Well, One Way to Bring Him Back…

Selective Coverage, Cyclical Reporting & Conditional Journalism

hershA few months ago I wrote a brief commentary questioning the long-absence of Super-Journalist Seymour Hersh despite the continuation and expansion of our wars, scandals involving the Pentagon, ongoing simultaneous black ops and covert wars, and the numerous violations of human rights laws internationally and domestically. I began by comparing Mr. Hersh’s record in authoring articles during the previous administration to those written under the present administration. I checked Hersh-New Yorker coverage of the Bush administration abuses during its first three years:

13 articles. Thirteen hard-hitting well-written, thoroughly investigated, and unabashedly presented articles. Thirteen articles on abuses involving war(s), military, ‘generals’ games, prison and torture … You want to check it for yourself:Here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here.

Then, I searched for Hersh’s article written during the current administration:

3 articles. Three articles. Only three articles since Mr. Obama’s presidential victory. That’s it. None of them on the scandals, issues and abuses of the Obama administration. None of them on Obama’s drone-mania. None of them on bombing and killing civilians in Afghanistan and Pakistan. None of them on the dubious brief assault in Yemen. None of them on Bagram torture-abuse-secret imprisonment. None of them on Libya. None of them on jailing Manning-DOD whistleblower or bringing criminal charges against other government whistleblowers. Instead of listing the long list of ‘Nones,’ I’ll give you the only three articles written by Hersh at the New Yorker:

Syria Calling: The Obama Administration’s Chance to Engage in a Middle East Peace- Published in April 2009.

Defending the Arsenal: In an Unstable Pakistan, can Nuclear Warheads be Kept Safe? – Published in November 2009.

The Online Threat: Should we be Worry about a Cyber War? - Published in November 2010.

You’d think the Obama administration’s incredible expansion of US covert wars would be right up Hersh’s alley, no?  How about the current covert war in Yemen with the silent mainstream? Do I need to mention the latest reports on US Drone-Bombing of Somalia?! Or maybe our latest shenanigans and inside-out/outside-in Pakistan relations and our nonstop drone attacks over there? I am sure you can come up with dozens of macro cases and scandals involving the current administration, the Pentagon and the CIA that ordinarily would be Hersh’s reporting territory. No?

Well, my article on Hersh’s troubling absence from the scene of the even more troubling American investigative journalism arena received a lot of attention; some good, and some very antagonistic. The ones who attacked me did so not on the merit of my report or the rationale and logic behind it, but for my daring to question Seymour Hersh the great, and this despite all the deserved credit I made sure I attributed to Mr. Hersh’s work in my commentary. Here is a quote from an e-mail I received immediately after the article’s publication:

Who the fu.. do you think you are to question and criticize Hersh? You are not even a journalist! The man has so gotten so many awards and is the best investigative journalist this country’s got. Shame on you…

In my commentary I neither claimed nor pretended to be a journalist nor had I in any way tried to look down upon anyone’s journalistic capability. I was being a very humble no-body who pointed to some hard data and facts and asked the obvious and logical questions. I was taught to question the questionable in life- not necessarily as an award-winning journalist or a decorated academic, but as a rational human being who uses her brain’s critical thinking function rather than following the trend of the majority and turning off that function.

Recently I came across a comment by one of our readers-Xicha at Boiling Frogs Post:

Sibel, do you still talk to Seymour? Is he still out to lunch?

Just a few weeks before that I received an e-mail inquiry from one of our readers asking me whether I knew anything about Hersh’s status. She ended her e-mail with the following comment and questions:

We need him so badly. What would it take to get Sy Hersh to investigate and expose these criminals, their wars and abuses? What can we do to get him to write again?!

DemRepAt the time my immediate response was, ‘how should I know?!’ However, a couple of weeks later, the answer suddenly occurred to me! Bam, out of the blue! I got the answer, and I’m pretty confident of it. Not only that, I also have the solution to the problem. Here is my answer:

In order for Seymour Hersh to investigate and pour out those fabulously long and telling reports in pages after pages, nonstop, back-to-back, unrelenting and hard-hitting, a Republican president must occupy the White House. A Democrat won’t do; no matter how much of a Neocon he is, no matter how abusive and hawkish his practices, and no matter how aggressively he assaults people domestically and internationally.

As for the how can ‘one’ make this happen question:

I guess those people must do their share; go vote Republican and pray one gets the majority vote and gets into the White House. Once that happens they’ll get the good ole Hersh Feast in the New Yorker.

Now I will humbly seek your opinion and answer, and pass the microphone to you: what do ‘you’ think it would take to end Hersh’s hibernation cycle, get him to investigate, write and report again?

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  1. jschoneboom says:

    Thanks for the laugh, Sibel. Well, if we’re going to have to vote Republican, let’s vote for the one with the highest entertainment quotient. Michelle Bachman perhaps? Rick Perry’s going to be good for some tragically hilarious nonsense too. Since their policies are likely to be pretty much just like Obama’s anyway, it’s just a question of presidential style and comedy value.

    Let’s see, I guess Nixon was in when Hersh did his My Lai thing. His KAL 007 piece was Reagan era. He did have something on the Sudanese pharmaceutical factory destruction on Clinton’s watch, so it’s not outright impossible for him to criticize a Democrat.

    Could it be he’s just getting too old for this game? Maybe he could go out with a bang, though, and do the world’s greatest Pulitzer Prize-winning expose on 9/11. Maybe….

    Incidentally isn’t that what Hunter S. Thompson was supposedly working on when his untimely death occurred?

  2. OK, here’s an idea – since New York City has re-created itself as a city-state, turned its police force into an army complete with the capability to shoot down incoming aircraft. They also apparently have their own spies in the Middle East watching what is going on there (and I guess deciding on their own who are the good guys and the bad guys). Will they then shoot down that country’s aircraft coming into JFK? What will be next – offensive missiles? Rendition and torture? Anyone doubt we already live in a police state? Bloomberg is a used-to-be Republican. Maybe Hersch can write about this story.

  3. I guess it would take a GOP victory in 2012.

    But Hersch is not going to have any impact on anything anyway. We are way past the point at which the traditional media are going to help us. The coming economic collapse in Europe and the US is no longer avoidable, we cannot escape it. However, the ensuing social and economic upheaval is going to provide an opportunity for real change. It all depends on how “We the People” choose to deal with it. Will we allow the institutions that led us into this nightmare continue to manipulate us with fear, or will we break free of the mind control that has blinded us to the true nature of the ruling powers in the US.

    9/11 is the key. It is our best hope for change. After 10 years of investigative research, we have compiled irrefutable evidence that the official story on 9/11 is a lie. We have solid evidence that both public and private institutions were complicit in the events of 9/11. It is now a matter of getting Americans to look at the evidence and wake up from their sleep, which was for me one of the hardest things I have ever done. To admit that my country was not the “Shining City Upon A Hill” I was taught to believe, and admit to all those people I ridiculed for trying to open my eyes to the truth of 9/11 that they were right, were the most humbling experiences of my life.

    Unless a majority in this country come to understand what really happened on 9/11, I have little hope that we can hold onto what freedom we have not already allowed to be taken from us.

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