WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative’s top executive called a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into how news organizations gather the news.The records obtained by the Justice Department listed incoming and outgoing calls, and the duration of each call, for the work and personal phone numbers of individual reporters, general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and the main number for AP reporters in the House of Representatives press gallery, according to attorneys for the AP.In all, the government seized those records for more than 20 separate telephone lines assigned to AP and its journalists in April and May of 2012. The exact number of journalists who used the phone lines during that period is unknown but more than 100 journalists work in the offices whose phone records were targeted on a wide array of stories about government and other matters.In a letter of protest sent to Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday, AP President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Pruitt said the government sought and obtained information far beyond anything that could be justified by any specific investigation. He demanded the return of the phone records and destruction of all copies.
The New York Times paid for one of its Manhattan-based writers to stay at the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg for a long weekend to really understandwhat it’s like to be a hipster. The Times does realize Brooklyn is in New York right? Oh yeah, I forgot they don’t.
As you can tell from my posts, I have been in Boston since Monday covering the aftermath of the bombings. Emotionally, it’s been a hard story to cover. Yes, people in Boston are resilient, and the city will get through this. But that doesn’t mean many people here aren’t still hurting and very haunted by what happened. I’m staying at a hotel about a block and a half from Boylston Street, and around here, nearly everybody you encounter has a story of what they heard, what they saw, what they smelled or what they felt. And they are struggling.
Grabbing a new room key tonight, I mentioned to a clerk that I was a journalist. Unsolicited, he told me that his boss had discouraged the staff from talking too much about Monday. But he just needed to. He told me that he had been hanging out right where the second bomb had detonated. But just a few minutes before, he had randomly decided to step inside a cigar store a few doors down. When he heard a boom, he thought it was a “just one of those muskets they set off at the Patriots games.” But when went back on the street, all he saw were body parts and blood.
He frantically began looking for his sister, who had gone with him to the marathon. He couldn’t find her, and his cell phone wasn’t working. He saw a man wandering dazed down the street. His pants had been blown off and his skin was badly burned. And, as he said again and again, there was just so much blood everywhere. “I tried to tell myself it was Gatorade,” he told me.
He followed the crowds, who moved away from the scene and toward the Charles River. People were crying and screaming. Along the way, he gave away his hoodie to a runner who was freezing. Eventually he was reunited with his sister. When he got home, he called his boss at the hotel and told him he never wanted to come back to the neighborhood again.
But at home, he couldn’t stop thinking about what he had seen that day. He watched the TV coverage and obsessively checked Twitter, looking at the photos and videos of what had happened. His mind wouldn’t rest. He called his boss and asked to come into work, hoping to think about anything but the bombings. “I don’t know how to un-see what I saw,” he said.
On the surface, he’s one of the lucky ones. He wasn’t physically injured, and nobody he knew was harmed. But he was a victim too.
(Photo by Bill Greene/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
The story has everything you would expect from the Post: a gang of costumed bullies, led by Minnie Mouse; a friendly Spider-Man, who tells Pooh he won’t make money holding a honey pot; and an Elmo, an Alvin the Chipmunk and a Hello Kitty who don’t speak English.
Junger’s film also seems to question whether Hetherington took his desire to be on the front line too far. According to the documentary, Hetherington, who was 40 when he died, was conflicted about his desire to settle down with his girlfriend, Idil Ibrahim, and his quest to tell the story of war. In the documentary he even acknowledges that war photography can be a “very destructive thing to carry on beyond a certain age.”
The film ends with footage Hetherington shot in Misrata before he and Hondros were killed, including a visit inside a building were rebel soldiers were trying to smoke out enemy snipers by sending burning tires into rooms where they were barricaded.
The area felt unsafe to some journalists who had been with Hetherington and his group earlier that day, including photographer Andre Liohn, who questions in the film whether the group had put themselves in unnecessary danger.
“In the war you lose a lot of things (and) one of the things that you lose can be the original connection that took you there,” Liohn says. “I felt they were not paying the proper attention and the proper respect to everything that was happening around. They were trying to get in front of the rebels.”
Junger said he included Liohn’s comments because he still struggles with the question of whether Hetherington took too much of a risk that day.
“The decision to go out to the front line is inherently risky. It’s inherently understandable because front lines are compelling. And it’s inherently stupid. It’s all of them at the same time,” Junger said. “Everyone makes that decision, and most of the time it goes fine. And when it doesn’t go fine everyone goes, ‘What the hell were you thinking?’”
Junger added, “That said, I do wonder why after the intensity of fighting that Tim was part of in the morning, why he felt compelled to go out for a second dose, a second helping? That I don’t quite get. But had I been there, I think I would have been perfectly capable of doing the same thing. So I don’t want to be too judgmental about it. But I do wonder.”
I talked to Sebastian Junger about his Tim Hetherington documentary (via Yahoo News)
The War Correspondents series kicks off May 8th and continues monthly through December, featuring guests such as Bob Woodruff of ABC News, Jon Lee Anderson of The New Yorker, and freelance photographers Michael Kamber and Robert Nick.