Extra! Update April 2001

    Covering for the Company in Pakistan?

    When President Barack Obama stood before a room of journalists on February 15 and demanded that Pakistan release “our diplomat” Raymond Davis from a Lahore prison where he faced double murder charges, and when he lectured the Islamabad government on its “obligation” to adhere to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961, there were at least three reporters in the room who knew he was dissembling, and who went ahead and published his statements without caveat. The New York Times, the Washington Post and the Associated Press had all received confirmation from U.S. government sources a week earlier, back ...


    New York Times Changes Take on Colombian Death Squads

    In January, the already bleak human rights situation in Colombia was reported to be in a state of "alarming degradation," according to United Nations human rights observers (Associated Press, 1/20/01). A joint report from Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Washington Office on Latin America ("Colombia Human Rights Certification II," 1/01) found that "political violence has marked­ly increased" since the first installment of the U.S.'s $1.3 billion Plan Colombia aid package was dispersed in August. There were 26 massacres in the first half of January alone, claiming the lives of perhaps 170 people (Associated Press, 1/20/01). The killings were ...


    Media Rush to Declare Winner in Florida--Again

    On February 26, the Miami Herald and USA Today published the results of the papers' re-examination of the presidential election ballots from Miami-Dade County. They found that the uncounted "undervotes"--ballots that registered no choice when read electronically--produced a net gain of only 49 votes for Al Gore, less than had been expected. Combined with official recount results in the other counties where Gore had requested a manual recount, the papers reported that Gore could not have won the Florida election with his strategy of asking for a limited recount. This conclusion is debatable--other media recounts have found more votes than ...


    'Assholean Conduct'

    Talking to an on-the-scene reporter covering the school shooting in Santee, California, Geraldo Rivera (MSNBC, 3/7/01) noticed lots of honking in the background. It prompted the following exchange with reporter Chip Reid: RIVERA: What--what are all those horns we're hearing? Is there a kind of a “media go away” movement there in Santee? REID: Oh, yeah. In a big way. This is an effort--there are about 10 people along the roads holding up signs, “Honk if you want the media to go home.” Some of them are extremely angry. It's gotten to the point where the police had to be ...


    Diplomats Say

    Diplomats and United Nations officials said today, officials and diplomats here said. Diplomats and officials here say the experts added. The diplomats and officials said some relief experts said diplomats said, it is widely assumed here among officials and diplomats. Diplomats from several countries said one diplomat remarked: Officials said diplomats said. Officials of the oil program... said diplomats said. Editor’s note: Extra! Update does not generally run poetry, but we were so moved by this poem—which consists of all of the sourcing for the allegations in Crossette's March 7 New York Times article, "Iraq Is Running Payoff Racket, U.N. ...