Max Boot, the LAT's conservative op-ed columnist, argues today that Seymour Hersh doesn't deserve his status as one of the top investigative reporters around. He's no Bob Woodward, Boot says.
Hersh, on the other hand, is the journalistic equivalent of Oliver Stone: a hard-left zealot who subscribes to the old counterculture conceit that a deep, dark conspiracy is running the U.S. government. In the 1960s the boogeyman was the "military- industrial complex." Now it's the "neoconservatives." "They overran the bureaucracy, they overran the Congress, they overran the press, and they overran the military!" Hersh ranted at UC Berkeley on Oct. 8, 2004.
The immediate trigger for Boot's criticism is Hersh's piece in the current New Yorker suggesting that the U.S. is planning military strikes against Iran. At the Romenesko letters page, former L.A. Times foreign correspondent Kenneth Freed and others defend Hersh.