I am dedicating this entire post to Elizabeth Flock’s Washington Post blog entry about the aftermath of the Kandahar massacre. While I am flattered that my tweet is featured in such a prestigious newspaper, I feel compelled to explain what I wanted to say in the tweet — and what WaPo got wrong about it.
Here’s what I said in the tweet:
By focusing on “Afghan anger” and “backlash,” ISAF/US is ignoring the hurt, pain and grief in the wake of #KandaharKillings.
— Ahmad Shuja (@AhmadShuja) March 12, 2012
Here’s what WaPo thought I said:
But one Afghan journalist and blogger, Ahmad Shuja, argued that Afghans were grieving more than they were angry.
As you can see, I never compared the levels of grief and anger. Of course, there’s a lot of anger about the senseless murders, but it is unprofessional to try to forcibly work anything into my tweet more than it contains.
If this sounds like a small, innocuous breach of the journalistic standard, imagine if the same practice were common WaPo-wide. A low-budget high school newspaper would arguably be more “professional” than this newspaper of record.