Thursday, December 11, 2008

McClatchy reporter gets facts wrong -- even when talking about his personal experiences (updated)

Over at Nukes and Spooks, McClatchy reporter Warren Strobel writes about his personal experience being at Andrews Air Force Base when the Iranian hostages arrived home. Unfortunately -- and, if you follow this blog, not surprisingly -- Strobel got some of his facts wrong.

Pointedly Strobel says the hostages arrived home the same day Ronald Reagan was inaugurated.

In 1980, I was a freshman at St. Mary's College of Maryland, and working on the student newspaper there, an every-other-week journal with attitude called the Empath. One of our staff members had a father who was in the Air Force - not only that, he was (if memory serves), director of the flight line at Andrews Air Force Base. And so, on the day that the American hostages at long last came home, the day of President Ronald Reagan's inauguration, I and a few of my colleagues had a front-row seat to history.

Only problem - Reagan was inaugurated January 20, 1981 but the hostages didn't arrive home for several more days. Strobel is conflating Reagan's announcement at the inauguration with their arrival. Jimmy Carter flew to Wiesbaden Air Force Base in West Germany to greet the hostages the day after the inauguration, January 21, 1981. The hostages actually flew to Andrews AFB on January 27, 1981. Also, note that Strobel mentions "1980"... the hostage crisis ended in 1981.
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Minor issues? Absolutely, very minor. And I wouldn't bring it up, except for Strobel's history of getting important things wrong. See below.
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Previous posts on Warren Strobel getting important things wrong:


UPDATE: Harsh words for Strobel in comments:

This guy is not trustable. He is both a liar AND a lazy cheat.. This was not a typo. Mr. Strobel screwed up a first person observation. He doesn't care enough to get a simple, checkable fact right. He is not to be trusted...

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5 comments:

Dave D. said...

...We part company here, McWatchy. Mr. Strobel's indifference towards facts is not a minor fault, it's a major character flaw for a journalist and it bespeaks a lack of professionalism that should end his employment. Most of what journalists write is uncheckable and taken on trust. This guy is not trustable. He is both a liar AND a lazy cheat.
..This was not a typo. Mr. Strobel screwed up a first person observation. He doesn't care enough to get a simple, checkable fact right. He is not to be trusted.

Anonymous said...

You are absolutely correct. Reagan was briefed after he was sworn in, and told the hostages had left Iranian air space. He told reporters about this in the Senate Rotunda. They did not come back to the United States for several days later, so if Strobel had a first day seat for this, his ass would have been frozen because I also recall it was damned cold that week.

Archer05 said...

Warren Strobel is a rabid Bush hater. He does not care that we were attacked by terrorists, or the steps that were taken to keep the USA safe, or that the people of Iraq have a chance to live free. I think he wrote biased articles that were based on hatred, not facts. He would choke himself before writing good news about Iraq. That McClatchy might have to pink slip this jerk would be simple justice.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Did Warren hit on your wife or something?

TheBronze said...

I left a comment on his page, but his page has all sorts of problems, so everything gets posted twice.

Lame webpage for a lame "reporter"...