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Sunday, July 24, 2005

On Leopards and Their Spots

Oliver Kamm calls for the resignation of newish New Statesman editor John Kampfner:

...Kampfner, has distinguished himself by giving the cover story of this week's edition to John Pilger, illustrated with a picture of a rucksack and the title "Blair's bombs". Not al-Qaeda's bombs, mind: Blair's bombs.


The responsibility for a cover describing the bombs that killed 56 people in London a fortnight ago as "Blair's" lies not with Pilger but with his editor. As a friend and broadsheet political columnist observed to me this afternoon, that cover alone requires Kampfner's resignation.

NOTE: The link above, which is the one Kamm used, is to the magazine's main page. It, and the cover shown (a photo of a dark knapsack), will change. The New Statesman charges for permalinks, so I can't provide one.

If Kamm says so. I'm guessing there'll be free sno cones in Hell first. But I'll point out that I've blogged about Kampfner here. He was the fellow who reported (for the BBC) that the rescue of Pvt. Jessica Lynch from the Iraqi hospital where she was held was "staged", and, in particular, that her rescuers had used blanks in their guns. This was the assertion of an Iraqi doctor, which apparently was too good to check. When interviewed by CNN, Kampfner merely says, "Well, that is his [the doctor's] contention." He does have much more to say, none of it relevant to the issue of blanks.

I guess this is the sort of journalism that will get you far in the world of British media.