Jon Schwarz is editor of MichaelMoore.com and was research producer for 'Capitalism: A Love Story.' He's also contributed to the New Yorker, New York Times, Atlantic, Wall Street Journal, Slate, Saturday Night Live and NPR.
I'm sure it's tough for many reasons to work for the Sulzbergers and Carlos Slim at the New York Times. But I'd have an especially hard time coming into the office every day and being forced to write paragraphs like this in today's story about Afghanistan:
American and NATO officials in Kabul…said that [development] aid would continue, although the amounts given were likely to be reduced over time. And the Afghan government would have to live up to its commitments to battle corruption and run a more open government for the aid to keep flowing.
It's not just that the New York Times itself, to its great credit, uncovered the story of the CIA giving the Karzai government millions in bags of cash one week ago. It's that the bags of cash article was written by the same reporter, Matthew Rosenberg.
Yet here he is today, faithfully passing along the news about how anonymous American officials sincerely want Karzai to be less corrupt. It's like breaking the Eliot Spitzer prostitution story, and then quoting him a week later explaining how he's going to continue paying Ashley Dupré as long as she lives up to his longstanding demand that she be less of a prostitute.
(I have much more sympathy for the payee in both situations. In Karzai's case, he likely remembers that after the Soviets left, their last puppet was castrated, dragged through the streets of Kabul behind a jeep, and then publicly hanged. So you can understand if he wants to keep some cash on hand.)
P.S. Last October Glenn Greenwald and Kade Ellis has a long exchange on twitter with Rosenberg in which he finally acknowledged that the U.S. government may not be 100% trustworthy. Read it to see how anxious Rosenberg was about answering basic, straightforward questions.
P.P.S. It's also hard to be a reporter at the Washington Post. Several years ago, think tank couple Fred and Kimberly Kagan worked for David Petraeus in Afghanistan. Then they came back and told the world about how we had to stay in Afghanistan indefinitely.
It turns out that, according to great reporting by Rajiv Chandrasekaran, the Kagans were paid nothing by the Defense Department. Instead, they continued to get their salaries from their think tanks, which in turn are largely funded by defense contractors that profit from indefinite war.
Yet Chandrasekaran had to write this without acknowledging that it was funny in any way at all:
Petraeus called them his "directed telescopes" and urged them to focus on the challenge of tackling corruption and building an effective government in Afghanistan, a task they addressed with gusto.
I guess in this case it would be like Spitzer seeing a second prostitute and paying her extra to look into the issue of why Ashley Dupré was such a prostitute.
But the best part is that after having the Kagans look into the issue of how the Afghan government could get less corrupt, David Petraeus went on to become director of the CIA. Maybe he flipped through their report whenever he needed a break from stuffing cash into the plastic bags.
April 22nd, 2014
FRANCIS RICHARD MOORE, 92, of FLINT/DAVISON, MI Passed away on Saturday, April 19, 2014, in Escondido, CAHe was Frank to all who knew and loved him, and there were many. ...
January 28th, 2014
In the State of the Union address tonight, President Obama is going to call for a national minimum wage of $10.10. Then in their response ...
January 21st, 2014
My New Year's Day op-ed in the New York Times seems to have kickstarted a discussion about how to make Obamacare better. I hope you ...
December 18th, 2013
This morning it was announced by the Library of Congress and the National Film Preservation Board that my first film, 'Roger & Me', has been ...
December 14th, 2013
[View the story "Michael Moore Tweets on Eve of Newtown Anniversay" on Storify]
November 9th, 2013
Click here for this week's full schedule for the State Theatre and Bijou by the Bay in Traverse City, Michigan. The day has arrived. For ...
September 10th, 2013
[View the story "John Kerry's Accidental Diplomacy" on Storify]
September 11th, 2010
OpenMike 9/11/10 Michael Moore's daily blog I am opposed to the building of the "mosque" two blocks from Ground Zero. I want it built on ...
December 14th, 2010
Yesterday, in the Westminster Magistrates Court in London, the lawyers for WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange presented to the judge a document from me stating that ...
May 12th, 2011
"The Nazis killed tens of MILLIONS. They got a trial. Why? Because we're not like them. We're Americans. We roll different." – Michael Moore in ...
November 22nd, 2011
This past weekend I participated in a four-hour meeting of Occupy Wall Street activists whose job it is to come up with the vision and ...
September 22nd, 2011
I encourage everyone I know to never travel to Georgia, never buy anything made in Georgia, to never do business in Georgia. I will ask ...
December 16th, 2010
Dear Swedish Government: Hi there -- or as you all say, Hallå! You know, all of us here in the U.S. love your country. Your ...
November 2nd, 2010
This letter contains (almost) no criticisms of how the Democrats have brought this day of reckoning upon themselves. That -- and where to go from ...