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Archive for April 14th, 2015

NewsboyWhen I was visiting Toni Momberger‘s office at the Redlands Daily Facts (one of my favorite newspaper names) in California a few years ago, Toni had to be out of town. But I got to use her office briefly. This cartoon, on display in her office, fit well into the slides I was using that day, so I shot a quick photo and added it to the slides (below).

I’ve used it in some other slides since, and I had been meaning to ask Toni (Digital First Media’s Journalist of the Year for 2013) the story behind the picture.

When I used the cartoon in a recent blog post about newspaper carriers (and Facebook), I wrote her asking the origin, because I wanted to credit it appropriately (and use with retroactive permission).

Toni connected me with Al Hernandez, owner of Citrograph Printing Co. in Redlands, who provided this explanation:

The original crate label is from our archive of crate label images.  If you notice the newsboy is carrying copies of the Citrograph Newspaper under his arm.  The Citrograph is the oldest continuously operating Print shop in California and it was the original newspaper in Redlands.

As far as we know, the original label is now in the public domain.  This piece was created in celebration of our 125th Anniversary in 2012.

Thanks to Toni and Al for that help in identifying an image I really enjoy.

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Jonathan Landay

Jonathan Landay

April 30 update: Jon Stewart interviewed Judith Miller, covering the aluminum tubes story discussed here.

I was perhaps not detailed enough in my criticism of Judith Miller’s memoir/fantasy book The Story: A Reporter’s Journey.

Jonathan Landay, a Knight-Ridder (now McClatchy) Washington reporter, nailed the story that Miller tragically botched in 2002-3 — pre-war intelligence about whether Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. He provided by email some details that I didn’t bother to round up.

It was self-abuse enough to read Miller’s book. I didn’t want to dig back and find the stories in question to check any of her claims in the book. And, after a quick read, I wanted to pump out my review, so I didn’t take the time to check exactly what was in the two Knight-Ridder stories she cited dismissively (or the many she ignored entirely).

Landay kindly filled in some gaps in an email exchange thanking me for my post (links added by me; I did finally look up those stories):

Just another thought: the story to which she referred in her book eviscerated — I like that word — her aluminum tubes story. She obliquely criticizes me for using only one named source, David Albright, despite the fact that virtually all of her sources were anonymous, especially on her tubes story.

OK, I just checked and in an article of nearly 3,500 words, Miller cited just two named sources. But one of the names was a pseudonym, “Ahmed al-Shemri,” an Iraqi defector who claimed to work in Saddam Hussein’s chemical weapons program. He was quoted at length. Most of the rest of the article is attributed to various “Bush administration officials.” In The Story, Miller claims to have used lots of named sources in her WMD reporting. I’m not going to check all of her stories, but that wasn’t true of this one.

On Page 220 of The Story, in recounting how Times editors took her to task for failing to report the doubts revealed in a Landay article about whether the aluminum tubes could even be used as centrifuges to make nuclear weapons, Miller dismissed the Knight-Ridder story (though she attributed it to McClatchy) as based on unnamed sources: (more…)

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