Former Saddam Officer, Now NYT Reporter, Apparently Involved in Over 300 Stories

To refresh from what I posted on earlier this morning (NewsBusters; BizzyBlog [third item at post] -- here's the admission from New York Times reporter Qais Mizher, in his report from Basra in yesterday's Times:

Early last week, when the assault started, I happened to be in Diwaniya, another southern city, as part of my work as a reporter and translator for The New York Times.

Calling on my experience as a captain in the Iraqi Army before the 2003 invasion and essentially a war correspondent since then, I headed to Basra to see if I could make my way into the city and see what was happening there.

Yesterday, Richard Miniter at Pajamas Media pointed out that Mizher's self-professed "experience" means that he "was an officer in Saddam’s army."

A search on Mizher's full name in quotes at the Times shows that it comes up in 313 stories, going all the way back to September 2004. Mizher's regular reportorial contributions appear to have begun in late August 2005. He has rarely, if ever, had his byline alone on a story; the one excerpted above is either the first instance, or a rare exception.

Points/questions:

  • Someone with more time than I have ought to go through the reports to which Mizher has contributed to see how a former Saddam officer might have colored them.
  • How many other former Saddam officers are in Old Media's employ over in Iraq?
  • Those skeptical of the need for folks like Yon, Totten, Ardolino, Dollard, et al need to remind me again -- Why should Old Media's wire services and "newspapers of record" deserve the presumption of greater credibility than the milbloggers?

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.