The Mystery of Robert Fisk's Reporting
It's looking worse by the day for the reputation of journalist and best-selling author Robert Fisk, who is fighting off accusations that he made up some of his most sensational stories of carnage and war crimes while hanging about in hotels with the other journalists he seemed to so despise.
The latest bit of circumstantial evidence to add to the growing mystery; a little mystery going back some decades. We have two accounts of the Shatila massacre by Christian militiamen in Lebanon. One was written by a Dr. Franklin Lamb, allegedly a friend and ally of Fisk, recounting a letter he'd received from one Janet Lee Stevens:
As you [Janet] later wrote to me in your perfect cursive, "I saw dead women in their houses with their skirts up to their waists and their legs spread apart; dozens of young men shot after being lined up against an alley wall; children with their throats slit…”
Then we have Fisk's version:
But there were women lying in houses with their skirts torn up to their waists and their legs wide apart, children with their throats cut, rows of young men shot in the back after being lined up at an execution wall.
Naturally, two witnesses to the same event would be expected to include the same sorts of details. Yet this particular blurb was remarkably exact on presenting these same details. Was Fisk's account derived from his own eyes or from someone else's?
Nadia Khoury is a Contributing Writer for The Propagandist