Throwing Honor Over the Side

Dad called to let me know about the New York Times Magazine cover story this week on Lt. Col. Nathan Sassaman, an Oregon high school football star, subject of a laudatory profile in the Oregonian last year, and unindicted co-conspirator in the cover-up of an incident in which some of his men had forced two detainees to jump into the Tigris River from a bridge.

As I pointed out last year, the Oregonian ran their 6 July 2004 profile of Sassaman just days after an article with news of his role in the cover-up. In response to readers who pointed out the omission from the profile, the public editor claimed the reporter who wrote the profile hadn’t found any references to the bridge incident (although the editor did) on Google. Perhaps the Oregonian could spring for Lexis/Nexis or something more comprehensive.