April 18, 2005

We know who the bad guys are

The Boston Globe has fired a freelance writer after she wrote an article about commercial Canadian seal hunters without bothering to actually observe it.

The Globe, which is owned by The New York Times Co., said it stopped using writer Barbara Stewart because of a story that ran on Wednesday about a seasonal hunt for baby seals off Newfoundland -- a hunt, it turns out, had not taken place.

The story datelined Halifax, Nova Scotia described in graphic detail how the seal hunt began on Tuesday, with water turning red as hunters on some 300 boats shot harp seal cubs "by the hundreds."

She must have justified skipping the actual reporting because she knew who the "bad guys" were, so why bother with the inconvenience of actually watching? And of course her editors knew who the "bad guys" were too, so they approved the story.

Thanks, Barbara, for helping the credibility of environmental reporters everywhere.

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