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Murray Waas v. Washington City Paper

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by JayFarrar, May 18, 2007.

  1. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    When the editor's note explaining the story is as long as the story, that doesn't seem like a good sign.

    And this was in a reporter's note [Jason Cherkis] explaining the story and this exchange, about Waas, who is a cancer survivor.
    Waas is a highly decorated investigative reporter and a Pulitzer finalist. He also has personal problems, that include money trouble along with a messy divorce. The story and all the notes look like that an alt-weekly decided to take down the reporter. Tidbits include that the NY Times couldn't confirm some of Waas's reporting and that's why they didn't do any follow-ups implying that Waas was either wrong or just making stuff up. Or that the story that made Waas's bones, a Pulitzer finalist investigative piece on how Iraq used U.S. money to finance its war effort, was "hooey" but later in the piece it acknowledges how other writers thought it was good work, but that it had some flaws.
    The editor's note is a thing of wonder. The editor acknowledges that the reporter who did the story is an asshole, but is also a very good writer. It is the kind of squabble that only newspaper types will care about, and I found it fascinating.
  2. Flying Headbutt

    Flying Headbutt Moderator Staff Member

    Nice find, Jay. An extremely interesting story. And it makes Murray look like a clown.
  3. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    A minor update: Talked to an editor friend who used Waas in the past for a big investigative piece, that ended up winning a slew of awards, had this to say..."I read it. They did a job on the boy. At least some of it deserved. Murray is a strange character."
    Also said that he would Waas again in the future.
  4. An awful lot of people who work the beats Waas works -- invisible government, covert activities, black intel etc. -- end up a little spooky. No surprise. But this is a POS hit job of the lowest order.
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