At the height of the controversy over my recent story in The Diplomat about Special Forces in North Korea, I stepped down from my role as a regular blogger for the Japan-based publication. I did so in part to draw heat away from a publication I was proud to work for. Besides, they were probably on the verge of firing me.
The Diplomat retracted my story. But even after the Pentagon on FOUR OCCASIONS admitted I had been accurate in my reporting, The Diplomat did not retract its retraction or publish any defense of me at all. Still, I asked about getting my blogging job back. The reply was — how shall I put this? — a little bit soft.
So I withdrew my request for my job back. And in my reply I said, among other things, this:
I’ve traveled on my own dime to report for you. I’ve reported from war zones for you. I’ve been shot at and blown up chasing stories for you. And perhaps most importantly, I’ve linked to relevant Diplomat stories in my writing for Wired, AOL and other publications, driving thousands of readers to your site who otherwise would not have known about it. And when things got difficult, what happened? I took all the heat. You and the rest of The Diplomat staff ran for cover. Cowards.
Far be it from me to dictate my readers’ news-consumption, but I humbly advise that The Diplomat is now well beneath your standards.