Parallax Views w/ J.G. Michael

The Late Neil Sheehan, The New York Times, Vietnam, and Daniel Ellsberg Pt. 2 w/ Jim Naureckas

January 24, 2021


On this edition of Parallax Views we continue our examination of the late New York Times journalist Neil Sheehan, this time covering a news story published in NYT after his death by reporter Janny Scott proclaiming to tell the true story of the Pentagon Papers and Sheehan's involvement in the affair that was not previously known. The article, entitled "Now It Can Be Told: How Neil Sheehan Got the Pentagon Papers", seems to treat Neil Sheehan as the true hero of the the saga while portraying the story's whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg as a fearful neurotic with a penchant for making foolish mistakes. The Pentagon Papers, which were a secret Pentagon study of the Vietnam War commissioned by Robert McNamara that exposed how the U.S. government had been deceiving the public about the war effort, is a monumental case in the history of 20th century politics and journalism. As such Janny Scott's story, in which Sheehan gives a different version of events, is an important development. Jim Naureckis of the media watchdog organization Fair and Accuracy in Media (FAIR), however, argues the Scott story is misleading. As such Naureckis and FAIR released an Action Alert to its readers entitled "What Can ‘Now Be Told’ by NYT About Pentagon Papers Isn’t Actually True". Jim joins us to discuss the problems with the NYT article purporting to tell a new truth about the Pentagon Papers as well as discussing the problems of valorizing journalists as heroes while downplaying the importance and bravery of whistleblowers like Ellsberg. All that and more on this edition of Parallax Views.

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