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Arkin’s Chain Of Command

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From Howard Kurtz’s column today:

Jim Brady, executive editor of, says the use of the word mercenary “was a mistake. It made it through the editing process, which is unfortunate. We certainly apologize for using it on the site . . . I know it offended a lot of people, but I don’t think it’s something he should be fired for.”

NBC does “not condone” Arkin’s online comments and welcomes his apology, network spokeswoman Allison Gollust says. NBC’s parent company, General Electric, says it “strongly condemns” the Arkin remarks as “grossly unfair.”

But after the smoke from all the apologies clears, Arkin is still employed by the Post, and the Post still lacks any center-right bloggers on politics, and any serious military/national security blogger dedicated to writing about the war from the perspective of the necessity of victory.

In the common law of journalism, then, we know that plagiarism for the Post  is a firing offense, but not branding the American military “mercenaries.” 

An institution’s values can be discovered many ways, but none are so certain as understanding those sins which it will excuse and those it will not pardon.


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