In a searing interview with The Guardian’s Lisa O'Carroll, Pulitzer Prize-winner Seymour Hersh let loose a litany of scathing words on the state of journalism. As Washington Post’s Max Fisher put it, “Uh oh, Seymour Hersh slipped away from his Conde Nast handlers again and gave an interview. It's pretty amazing.”
Here is a man who first garnered global recognition for revealing the cover-up of the My Lai Massacre during the Vietnam War, and then again more recently for exposing the torture of Abu Ghraib prisoners. Consequently, during this interview, Hersh had some harsh solutions for getting news back on track: "Get rid of 90% of editors and start promoting editors that you can't control," Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger quoted from the story. Wall Street Journal’s Brittany Hite offered this nugget: “‘Why do newspapers cite 2 or 3 groups that monitor drone killings? Why don't we do our own work?' -Seymour Hersh.” And then there was this uplifting gem, shared by ProPublica’s Eric Umansky. “‘The world is clearly run by total nincompoops more than ever.’ - Sy Hersh.”
But we’ll cut to the chase and tell you the most controversial part of it, which Buzzfeed’s Ben Smith among others have tweeted: “Sy Hersh on bin Laden killing: ‘It’s one big lie, not one word of it is true.’” New York Magazine’s Dan Amira protested the quote, “Wasn’t even in Pakistan.” Garance Franke-Ruta at The Atlantic voiced similar concerns: “If Sy Hersh has evidence the OBL raid story is a total fabrication, doesn't he have an obligation to print it?” If Sy wanted to shake up newsrooms and spark heated conversations, he undoubtedly accomplished his goal.
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