(Normally, we start the year with our “Most Intriguing Event of the Year”. But since Lone Survivor hit theaters across the country on January 10th, we’re devoting this week to that topic.
To read all of our Lone Survivor posts, please click here. The most important post is "A List of the Mistakes and Differences Between Lone Survivor (Film), Lone Survivor (Book) and Reality" so read that first if you are new to the blog or this topic.)
To avoid burying the lede, please check our recent article over at Slate on Lone Survivor. If you’re a regular reader, you’ve probably read the article it is based on here. Either way, we’re both pretty heavy Slate readers (and we regularly cite Dahlia Lithwick for her excellent legal reporting), so we’re excited to contribute to that great website.
Before we go, though, we want to tell a story which captures how Slate--and specifically staff writer Forrest Wickman--went above and beyond to do the due diligence this story requires.
After we published our magnum opus listing every important difference or mistake in Lone Survivor, we tried to get the word out to the journalists we respect. We sent a lot emails...and received one response.
Then, in the middle of last week, Forrest Wickman of Slate.com’s “Browbeat” blog reached out saying he loved the piece. He even went a step further asking if Slate could repurpose it. We immediately said yes. Based on the behavior of most journalists, we expected it to end there.
Thank God it didn’t. Forrest did what every editor should do: he asked us for our research for any facts that, by this point, we consider common knowledge. He asked us for links or citations. He also double checked our quotes to ensure accuracy. (The whole process took two days.)
In short, Forrest did what we expect editors everywhere--no matter how busy they are--to do: check the facts.
Unfortunately, virtually no major media outlets did this. As we wrote last Friday, Luttrell is on record repeating contradictory information to multiple news outlets...none of those news outlets double-checked what he told them.
So thanks again Slate.com for the opportunity to contribute and for doing due diligence.