McClatchy Reporter Steps in it

Rick Moran
This is one of those stories that those of us not in the news business point to when trying to explain why the press is held in such low regard.

Bobbie Calvan, a reporter for McClatchy News Service stationed in Baghdad, decided to blog about the trouble he had at a checkpoint in the Green Zone when returning from an assignment:

He asked if I had a driver’s license on me. I told him I didn’t have one. He looked incredulous. Why would I need a driver’s license in Baghdad; I wouldn’t be driving, I told him. He took offense at my response.

Then he looked at the second ID of my companion. It was a badge issued by our newspaper. He said it wouldn’t do. Besides, he asked, what is Knight Ridder? “I never heard of it,” he said. He probably would have never heard of McClatchy, either. (We use Knight Ridder because it already had a bureau in Baghdad before the chain was bought by the McClatchy Co.)
Knight-Ridder is the name of a defunct news company and he's surprised that the soldier had never heard of it? It gets better:
With nothing to lose I decided to get pushy. I asked him how he could not possibly know that Knight Ridder was one of the country’s largest newspaper chains. I told him that we’re bigger than the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times.

“I’m from Atlanta. I only know the Journal,” he said. “I thought you said you also knew the Miami Herald,” I retorted. “We’re bigger than the Journal,” I replied.

“You never heard of Knight Ridder?” He didn’t want to be embarrassed. He already looked irritated. He asked me if I knew the number of the military’s media office.

“I would if you’d let me switch on my phone,” I snapped. “What’s the use of these media badges if people like you aren’t going to honor them? Is this for nothing? Why don’t you call? That’s your job, isn’t it?” I made it known that I was jotting down his name.
This arrogant little pipsqueak is actually proud that he browbeat an American soldier! The fact that people lose their lives almost everyday at a checkpoint like the one he was trying to get through didn't seem to enter his head. And if the soldier were just a little more knowledgeable, he might have become very suspicious of some strutting peacock of a reporter flashing the media badge from a company that no longer exists. He's lucky he didn't end up held for questioning.

The idiot got taken to the woodshed in the comments:

2. Don Surber said:
October 24th, 2007 at 6:09 pm
I’ve been in the newspaper business 25+ years. I am sorry, but you come off reading like some jerk. Sometimes people get the treatment they deserve. The soldier has a far more dangerous job than you. Did it not occur to you that he’s a bigger target and that he protects you?


9. SC said:
October 24th, 2007 at 6:27 pm
How idiotic is this reporter? He blogs to the world that he’s an arrogant jerk who pulls a “do you know who I am” act in front of a soldier who’s job is to protect him. Simultaneously, he proves that the he and his media lackies are a bunch of arrogant jerks who hate the military, have short fuses, are incapable of criticism, and have an amazing chip on their shoulder. Keep this up and the only thing people will know “Knight Ridder” for is their idiotic, biased reporting and scumbucket reporters.

Rot in hell, mainstream media.

And those were two of the milder ones.

On top of everything else, the entire website has been taken down this morning - probably due to the universally negative reaction from both right and left.

McClatchy is, next to the Associated Press, the most anti-American, anti-Bush news organizations in the world. They also apparently hire the most insufferable louts in the newspaper business.

This is one of those stories that those of us not in the news business point to when trying to explain why the press is held in such low regard.

Bobbie Calvan, a reporter for McClatchy News Service stationed in Baghdad, decided to blog about the trouble he had at a checkpoint in the Green Zone when returning from an assignment:

He asked if I had a driver’s license on me. I told him I didn’t have one. He looked incredulous. Why would I need a driver’s license in Baghdad; I wouldn’t be driving, I told him. He took offense at my response.

Then he looked at the second ID of my companion. It was a badge issued by our newspaper. He said it wouldn’t do. Besides, he asked, what is Knight Ridder? “I never heard of it,” he said. He probably would have never heard of McClatchy, either. (We use Knight Ridder because it already had a bureau in Baghdad before the chain was bought by the McClatchy Co.)
Knight-Ridder is the name of a defunct news company and he's surprised that the soldier had never heard of it? It gets better:
With nothing to lose I decided to get pushy. I asked him how he could not possibly know that Knight Ridder was one of the country’s largest newspaper chains. I told him that we’re bigger than the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times.

“I’m from Atlanta. I only know the Journal,” he said. “I thought you said you also knew the Miami Herald,” I retorted. “We’re bigger than the Journal,” I replied.

“You never heard of Knight Ridder?” He didn’t want to be embarrassed. He already looked irritated. He asked me if I knew the number of the military’s media office.

“I would if you’d let me switch on my phone,” I snapped. “What’s the use of these media badges if people like you aren’t going to honor them? Is this for nothing? Why don’t you call? That’s your job, isn’t it?” I made it known that I was jotting down his name.
This arrogant little pipsqueak is actually proud that he browbeat an American soldier! The fact that people lose their lives almost everyday at a checkpoint like the one he was trying to get through didn't seem to enter his head. And if the soldier were just a little more knowledgeable, he might have become very suspicious of some strutting peacock of a reporter flashing the media badge from a company that no longer exists. He's lucky he didn't end up held for questioning.

The idiot got taken to the woodshed in the comments:

2. Don Surber said:
October 24th, 2007 at 6:09 pm
I’ve been in the newspaper business 25+ years. I am sorry, but you come off reading like some jerk. Sometimes people get the treatment they deserve. The soldier has a far more dangerous job than you. Did it not occur to you that he’s a bigger target and that he protects you?


9. SC said:
October 24th, 2007 at 6:27 pm
How idiotic is this reporter? He blogs to the world that he’s an arrogant jerk who pulls a “do you know who I am” act in front of a soldier who’s job is to protect him. Simultaneously, he proves that the he and his media lackies are a bunch of arrogant jerks who hate the military, have short fuses, are incapable of criticism, and have an amazing chip on their shoulder. Keep this up and the only thing people will know “Knight Ridder” for is their idiotic, biased reporting and scumbucket reporters.

Rot in hell, mainstream media.

And those were two of the milder ones.

On top of everything else, the entire website has been taken down this morning - probably due to the universally negative reaction from both right and left.

McClatchy is, next to the Associated Press, the most anti-American, anti-Bush news organizations in the world. They also apparently hire the most insufferable louts in the newspaper business.