An exclusive, ongoing RRJ series featuring leading Canadian journalists and their top picks for pieces every journalist “must read,” “must watch” and “must listen” to before they die.
TODAY: Journalist Linden MacIntyre
Linden MacIntyre is co-host of The Fifth Estate, CBC Television’s investigative journalism program. He has written several books, most notably The Bishop’s Man, which won the 2009 Scotiabank Giller Prize. MacIntyre lives in Toronto.
Harvey Cashore: “Luck of the Draw ” (The Fifth Estate, CBC Television, original air dates: October 25, 2006; November 22, 2006; March 14, 2007)
“This story has been unfolding for several years, driven to a very large extent by the work of a little team of people here at The Fifth Estate. Three years ago we did a piece about a family who we had [a] very persuasive reason to believe stole a lottery ticket worth $12.5 million.
The piece was part of an ongoing series, where people were routinely getting fucked by corporate store owners, and the lottery corporation was unwilling to risk loss of public confidence by acknowledging these things. Eventually, after several of these stories, the lottery corporation had to start taking a strong internal look at things, and eventually the OPP had to get off its ass. Now, years after the fact, they’re trying to find the people who should’ve won the $12.5 million in 2003.”
Seymour Hersh: “The My Lai Massacre Coverage” (The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 1969)
“Just google him, he’s one of the most famous reporters of our age. He took on stories that challenged orthodox beliefs in what was going on and some of the key assumptions that were legitimizing the war in Vietnam, for example. His journalism helped give a total reassessment of that war and contributed to political decisions to get out of it. He’s one of those inspirational guys over many years, one of those grassroots, very down-to-earth types. He’s not a celebrity journalist — he’s just one of those guys who rolls up his sleeves and goes at things.”
David Barstow: “Message Machine” (The New York Times, April 20, 2008)
“The third example is from a friend of mine who works at The New York Times. He has won two Pulitzers during the time I’ve known him, over the last five or six years. The one piece of work that truly impressed me was a major investigative piece he did for The New York Times about retired generals and military officers who were popping up on network television in the U.S. and in Canada to act as ‘independent analysts’ during the war in Iraq. Their analysis was actually based on personal agendas, either because of consulting work they did with military suppliers or because of the connections they had with the Pentagon or political figures in the Bush administration.
He was able to pursue that in huge length and to document egregious conflicts of interest. Barstow found that they were promoting all sorts of vested interests, not sitting up there as objective analysts, but as representatives of various commercial and political interests. That’s a fraud, so you expose it. Now whether or not they stopped doing it, I don’t know, but the fact is that people know now.”