The "burrowing in" of reporters from the hard-left partisan press or advocacy groups into (supposedly) mainstream news organizations has been a topic here: James Sterngold went from being a regular contributor to Mother Jones to being a reporter for Bloomberg News. The latest example is the co-author of the big Washington Post investigation of the intelligence community, William Arkin. The Post investigation front page describes him as follows:
William M. Arkin has been a columnist and reporter with The Washington Post and washingtonpost.com since 1998. He has worked on the subject of government secrecy and national security affairs for more than 30 years. He has authored or co-authored more than a dozen books about the U.S. military and national security.
It gives the impression that Mr. Arkin has been a full-time employee of the Post since 1998. But Mike Allen's Politico playbook (Mr. Allen is a former Post reporter and Politico is a Washington Post competitor) unearths an earlier (2007) bio of Mr. Arkin on the Post's Web site that tells a different story:
Previously, Arkin served as Senior Military Adviser to Human Rights Watch, the largest international human rights and law organization in the United States, and was a columnist for The Los Angeles Times. From 1985 - 2002, he wrote the "Last Word" column in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists,..
After leaving the Army, he co-authored the first volume of the Nuclear Weapons Databook series for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an unclassified reference book on nuclear weapons, which the Reagan administration sought to suppress on secrecy grounds. He then co-authored Nuclear Battlefields in 1985, revealing the locations of all U.S. and foreign nuclear bases worldwide. Nuclear Battlefields was also condemned by the Reagan Administration...
In the late 1980s, Arkin conceived Greenpeace International's "Nuclear Free Seas" campaign....Arkin headed Greenpeace International's war response team in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and co-authored On Impact -- Modern Warfare and the Environment: A Case of the Gulf War, the first comprehensive study of the civilian and environmental effects of the war. In 1991 and in 1993, Arkin visited Iraq to evaluate civilian damage as part of the so-called "Harvard Study Team", conducting on-the-ground bomb damage assessments after the war. He served as military advisor to a United Nations fact-finding mission in Israel and Lebanon in 2006.
E-mail Arkin at email@example.com.
IGC.org is a hard-left email address. If the guy's a real Washington Post reporter, can't the Washington Post manage to give him a Washington Post email address? And if he's a real Washington Post reporter (since 1998?), what's he doing advising the U.N.?
Hugh Hewitt had more at the Weekly Standard back in 2003, including:
Arkin's own speech to an audience at the U.S. Naval War College on September 25, 2002. In this lengthy and vitriolic attack on the Bush administration, Arkin admitted to feeling "cynical about the fact that we are going to war to enhance the economic interests of the Enron class," and declared that "the war against terrorism is overstated."
Oh, and Mr. Arkin also writes for the Nation.
And a July 2007 book he wrote for "Air University Press" that was critical of Israel's handling of its conflict with Hezbollah in Lebanon described him as "an independent military analyst, journalist, and author" who "is also an adjunct at the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Air University, Maxwell AFB, Alabama."
I've always believed you judge the journalism by the words not by the biography of the author, but this is really something. At least the Post could be more transparent about it in the bio posted on the front of the series.