As one who has reported from dangerous conflict zones again and again, I can say that you can safely ignore Keller's "concern" for Iranians that might be endangered by his presence. Shouldn't that really be the decision of the unnamed Iranians that want accurate news about the events in their country reported to the world and are risking their lives to get the word out with or without shepherding NY Timesmen around?
Somebody has to say it. Might as well be me. It's Bill Keller who is the coward here. Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out of Iran, Bill!
Can you imagine John Reed or Webb Miller or George Orwell or Oriana Fallaci or Andrew Kopkind or Mario Menendez or any of the other great journalists of their times using local people as an excuse to flee the scene of the crime? Hell, I've worked over the past dozen years throughout Latin America with journalists that know exactly how to embed with social movements without placing greater dangers on them. We do it all the time. Maybe Keller needs to attend our School of Authentic Journalism to learn that. Nobody apparently ever taught him. And he's the Ayatollah of the New York Fucking Times!
And yet I welcome Keller's flight and that of all the others. Because this week they are proving, finally, that all their claims of recent months about why "real newspapers" and "real journalists" are needed to cover the affairs of the world more than Internet or citizen journalists are a great big self-serving lie. They're completely impotent before the events in Iran. They're reduced to posting YouTube videos, and quoting Twitter tweets, made by people who will risk their lives with or without them tagging along.
The events in Iran this week, in addition to all the very important matters at stake, are also demonstrating for the world why the profit-driven media is incapable of serving society during these times and why it has become so very obsolete.
And for that, too, we owe a debt of gratitude to the people in the streets, especially the citizen journalists, more "real journalist" than Bill Keller and his generation of corporate clone-warriors that destroyed journalism in the United States have ever been.
Bill Keller Demonstrates His Irrelevance
Al Giordano exposes Bill Keller, executive editor of the Senile Old Lady, for the coward and con artist that he (and far too many 'journalists' today) really is: