My Pulitzer Means I’m Never Wrong

Oh, God, put your dick away. We don’t need to see that:

Risen’s piece quickly drew fire from online reporters and writers (including this one), who pointed out that many of the story’s purported revelations about Afghanistan’s mineral reserves had been previously reported. They also questioned the timing of the story, coming as it did on the heels of a series of troubling reports about the stability of the Karzai government and one day before Gen. David Petraeus was scheduled to testify before Congress about the war. […]

Risen didn’t take kindly to the blogospheric criticism. “Bloggers should do their own reporting instead of sitting around in their pajamas,” Risen said.**

“The thing that amazes me is that the blogosphere thinks they can deconstruct other people’s stories,” Risen told Yahoo! News during an increasingly hostile interview, which he called back to apologize for almost immediately after it ended. “Do you even know anything about me? Maybe you were still in school when I broke the NSA story, I don’t know. It was back when you were in kindergarten, I think.” (Risen and fellow Times reporter Eric Lichtblau shared a 2006 Pulitzer Prize for their reporting on the Bush administration’s secret wiretapping program; this reporter was 33 years old at the time.)

News to the north: when you have to masturbate about your prizes to get listened to during an argument, you lose automatically. The problem isn’t that people aren’t initiate in the mysteries of your brilliance, Jimmy. The problem is that you fucked up and got caught fucking up and thanks to the miracle of the Internets, lots of people got to see your fuckups and get to discuss them in detail. What contests you’ve won has very little to do with whether, in this particular instance, you were right or wrong.

I tell journalism students this all the time: You fuck up a story, you get something wrong, you get played, you admit it immediately and you fix it. You feel like shit, you pound some tequila and whine to your girlfriend or whatever for a day or two, you call your grandmother and let her tell you she loves you, and then you move the fuck on. It’s a three-day story at most no matter how bad the mistake is. And I know, okay, how much it sucks. I remember every correction I ever had to write and some of ’em were NASTY. But you fix it, and it’s over.

You do what Jimmy here is doing, you refuse to admit you got rogered and you make it about bloggers and what they’re wearing (is that joke really not over yet?), and you slap your resume on the table because you’re just so sure yours is the biggest, and this turns into a two-week pigfuck that goes on and on and never ends and makes you look worse with each passing day. Because now not only are you a guy who fucked up a story and got played by the Pentagon (and let’s face it, they employ many many people whose job it is to play the press), you’re also a fucking adolescent douchecanoe who can’t do what my three-year-old goddaughter can and say you’re sorry.

Good reporters, even ones who’ve won prizes, fuck up stuff all the time. It happens. The test is what you do afterwards. Risen’s flunking it pretty hard right now.


7 thoughts on “My Pulitzer Means I’m Never Wrong

  1. > You fuck up a story, you get something wrong …
    > you admit it immediately
    Even more important in engineering.
    The best engineers don’t just admit their mistakes;
    they call attention to them, so that the mistakes get
    corrected as soon as possible.
    If engineers try to paper over mistakes, they end up with
    brittle O-rings on a cold day and the Challenger disaster,
    or with 80,000 barrels of oil/day bubbling out of a hole
    under a mile of Gulf salt water.
    Of course, in both those examples, the engineers called
    attention to mistakes, and management decided to ignore
    the engineers for the sake of preserving management goals
    (such as launch schedule and profitability) that were deemed
    far more important than crew safety or the ecological health
    of the Gulf of Mexico and the livelihoods of hundreds of
    thousands of people.

  2. your point about people who are hired to play the press can’t be said enough. There are lots of people who don’t understand this. They still think that press conferences are filled with reporters wearing hats with the word Press in the band and photographers with flashbulbs. (I’m only slightly joking, I get tired of still seeing people on TV or movies say, “Hold a press conference!” and it’s filled with people and photographers. The press asks all these hard questions.
    Reality is a teleconference call with a handful of press asking one question each because of who controls the conference call. “Please press one if you want to ask a question.”

  3. I’m sure there are some useful minerals in Afghanistan, but be wary of those preliminary geologist reports. I live in an area that was reputed to be rife with coal in the 19th century. There was even a working coal mine along the coast, but as it turns out, there isn’t much coal around here, maybe a small vein or two. Still, when an area is bucking to be the terminus of the north branch of the transcontinental railroad, coal and other mineral goodies can be dangled as a lure.
    To be honest, I’m surprised no one has tried pulling the rare earths gambit, what with the Chinese now the world’s biggest producers and all kinds of new solar and computer tech requiring elements from the lanthanide series. (Tantalum capacitors made cell phones practical.) This would have played to our mineral wealth greed and our desire for a strategic purpose in Afghanistan.

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