‘Vanity Fair’ Article Probes ‘NY Times’ Baghdad Bureau

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By: Joe Strupp

The New York Times is still spending $3 million a year for its Baghdad bureau and keeps it staffed with some four reporters and two photographers, according to a new report on the bureau in Vanity Fair.

The story, just posted on the magazine’s Web site, is from contributor Seth Mnookin, who spent two weeks in the bureau and even “grew a beard, and stocked up on loose pants and baggy, button-down short-sleeved shirts in hopes of blending in, even if all that meant was an extra 30 seconds before being picked out in a crowd.”

The story includes comments from current and former Iraq-based Times reporters, as well as Executive Editor Bill Keller, who tells Mnookin: “You can’t cover a story only when interest peaks. You have to walk the beat all the time. This is so integral to what readers expect in The New York Times that if we stopped covering the war in Iraq we should just go out of business.”

The story is at: www.vanityfair.com

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