The McClatchy newspaper chain includes dozens of papers around the country, with millions of readers. This chain was formerly owned by Knight Ridder, and their reporters provided the only accurate information on Iraq before the invasion began.
Bureau Chief John Walcott and current and former McClatchy Pentagon correspondents say they have not been allowed on the Defense Secretary’s plane for at least three years, claiming the news company is being retaliated against for its reporting.
“It is because our coverage of Iraq policy has been quite critical,” Walcott told E&P. He added, “I think the idea of public officials barring coverage by people they’ve decided they don’t like is at best unprofessional, at worst undemocratic and petty.”
Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman called such assertions “absurd,” adding, “There is no basis of fact for that allegation. It is not true. There are always more people who would like to travel with the secretary than seats available.”
Of course it’s a punishment; but more than that, it’s just another form of censorship, and another way of insuring that Americans will not learn the truth about what is going on in Iraq and elsewhere.