The Corner

Ron Kampeas Strikes Back, Part II

Ron Kampeas reacts to my posting last evening, here. He does so by citing similar reporting by Robert Dreyfuss. Why pick on Ron Kampeas for misconstruing the report but not respond to Dreyfuss? The reason is simple. Kampeas is a real journalist. Dreyfuss is not. Dreyfuss was the “Middle East Intelligence” correspondent for the Lyndon LaRouche’s magazine, Executive Intelligence Review. Dreyfuss dedicated his first book to his colleagues at Lyndon LaRouche’s organization. Dreyfuss often makes things up. And has fabricated reports. In 2005, for example, he made up a conversation with Lieut-Gen. Sattler, who had left the building about a half hour before Dreyfuss says he talked to him about an event that happened after his departure, video here). When confronted, Dreyfuss shrugged it off. Several of Dreyfuss’ colleagues at The Nation are aware of Dreyfuss’ difficulties with the truth and past association with LaRouche and have expressed embarrassment that his presence undercuts their credibility.

I don’t take Dreyfuss seriously. While I do not know Kampeas personally, I do take him seriously. He is a real journalist and is ethical, although in this case he was sloppy, as he was with the Khalidi-PLO issue for which Martin Kramer called him out. So what’s the point of calling Kampeas out? First is to respond to a falsehood. And second because both recent episodes of Kampeas’ inaccuracies highlight the tendency of journalists both to subscribe to groupthink and to take short-cuts, substituting their own conventional wisdom to the basic who-what-when and where which was once the cornerstone of their trade.

The fact is, which Ron Kampeas should acknowledge, that the Bipartisan Policy Center report is neither as hardline as he depicts nor similar to the Bush administration approach. And the best way to defend one’s argument isn’t to cite a LaRouche acolyte.

Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Civil-Military Relations, and a senior editor of the Middle East Quarterly.

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