April 19, 2008

If this is impartial reporting then Abu Muqawama is Pedro Martinez

Abu Muqawama was reading this article in the New York Times about the controversy surrounding a shipment of Chinese arms to Zimbabwe, and his first thought was, "Good. Both China and Zimbabwe deserve this kind of negative press." But then his critical thinking skills set in and he noticed the name of the New York Times reporter, Celia W. Dugger.

Wait, isn't Celia Dugger married to that other New York Times journalist, Barry Bearak, who was thrown into the clink by the Mugabe Regime in Zimbabwe a few weeks ago? This raises all kinds of questions of journalistic integrity: First, there's the whole problem of husband-wife reporting teams. Can we honestly expect Celia Dugger to report with any kind of impartiality about the regime that imprisoned her husband? Second, coming at it from the opposite angle, how long did the New York Times sit on this story? Did they wait to report it until Bearak was freed just a few days ago?

This stinks, because this is a really important story. And now both the Mugabe Regime and China can call "foul" because of all the entangled conflicts of interest.