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Anthony Shadid's death — months later

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by sprtswrtr10, Jun 26, 2012.

  1. sprtswrtr10

    sprtswrtr10 Member

    I'm a sports guy, and my gig is much smaller than the New York Times.
    But Anthony Shadid was a childhood friend of mine and his cousin, Eddie (now Ed), was one of my best childhood friends. Eddie is a crusading Oklahoma City councilman, quite apart from the powers that be in town. And, listening to him at Anthony's memorial service and again in the linked video — from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee's 2012 convention — it is clear to me that Eddie believes Anthony was not treated well by his employers, and that the story of his death is not exactly as has been reported.

    For example:
    Around 6:20 of the video, Eddie reports that Anthony told his wife, "If anything happens to me tell the world that the New York Times killed me"

    So, I'm wondering if the waves my old friend is trying to make, on behalf of his late cousin and my late friend (and the plight of other current and future foreign correspondents) are being heard or felt in the profession. Perhaps this is the wrong forum, but I thought I would begin here.

    I would appreciate anybody's thoughts.
  2. Dave Kindred

    Dave Kindred Member

    Tyler Hicks, the NYT photographer and friend who was with Anthony in Syria when he died, has gone on record saying Ed Shadid is incorrect. Hicks says Anthony pressed for the assignment in Syria and wanted to be there as soon as possible.

    I dealt with Anthony a couple dozen times in doing my book on the Post, and I have every reason to believe Hicks's report is accurate. Don Graham, the Post's owner, told all his foreign correspondents, "No story is worth your life." Anthony disagreed, at least a little. He well knew the hazards of his job and accepted them as the price he would pay for doing work that he considered important. He told me that the job cost him his first marriage, that his wife wanted him to quit (this after being shot at point-blank range by an Israeli solider, the bullet narrowly missing his spinal cord). He said, "Her contention was I just should have never put myself in a positioln where I could get shot, that I brought it on myself."

    In a time when more correspondents have been killed in war than at any time in history, I absolutely believe no newspaper would send a reporter into a war zone unless the reporter agreed to the assignment. I believe Anthony died doing exactly what he wanted to be doing.
  3. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Is it out of the realm of possibility that Ed Shadid is using the situation for his own purposes?
  4. sprtswrtr10

    sprtswrtr10 Member

    This is strange.

    Dave, I've been reading you for a long time, have a ton of respect for you and am certain you're shooting straight.
    Stitch, no, it's not possible Eddie is doing this for his own purposes.
    I'm sure he believes what he's putting forward.
    But that's not to say he's very angry.
    And he's not a get-along guy, but a crusader.
    So here he is, down for a cause he believes in.
    Is there an element of his believing what he wants to believe?
    That is possible.

    Anyway, I don't like it.
    I cannot believe Eddie's recounting Anthony's words to his wife, should he not survive, are fraudulent.
    Of course, a line like that is a very powerful snapshot.
    Who knows what else was said?

    It just sucks.

    I'm closer to this than I otherwise would be.
    I saw Anthony for the first time in years and years only a very little while before he was abducted in Libya and it was like no time had passed. I saw Eddie at the memorial service for the first time in years and he thanked me for our friendship when we were kids. I wrote about Anthony in my paper. His death made him a civic hero of sorts in Oklahoma City, long after he should have already been one (but you know, it is the reddest of red states).

    I hope Eddie gets answers that he can live with. Whatever they are.
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