(Ken Silva, Headline USA) The prestigious Columbia Journalism School is holding a conference on building a democratic press this week, featuring speakers from the New York Times, Washington Post and The New Yorker.
Absent from the conference is the reporter who once wrote groundbreaking stories for all of these publications: Seymour Hersh, the legendary watchdog who recently exposed the Biden administration for allegedly by sabotaging Russia’s Nord Stream natural gas pipelines last September.
On Tuesday, one audience member wanted to know why Hersh was absent from the supposedly elite journalism conference.
“Is this the lecture hall with Seymour Hersh? I’m looking for the panel with Seymour Hersh because it’s a “policy and press” panel. Shouldn’t we talk about the Nord Stream since that’s the biggest story of the century?” asked a man who later revealed himself to be Jose Vega.
“You guys have the executive editor of the New York Times, which came out with a phony story to try to block Seymour Hersh.”
My friends and I confronted the executive editors for @nytimes, @washingtonpost, @latimes, @Reuters on their censorship of Seymour Hersh, Uhuru, Julian Assange, Tucker Carlson, Russiagate..Then the Dean of Columbia and security pushed me to the ground and tried to silence me. pic.twitter.com/Tm1u48n5Xu
— Jose Vega — Vote Diane Sare! (@JosBtrigga) April 25, 2023
Vega was referring to a New York Times story that purported to debunk Hersh’s story with an article about a “pro-Ukrainian group” sending divers from a 50-foot pleasure yacht to attack the pipelines. The Times backtracked on this half-baked theory earlier this month and admitted that its story is tenuous—while also calling for the truth of the matter to be ignored.
Vega then listed other recent failures by the mainstream press: Uncritically reporting lies about weapons of mass destruction being in Iraq, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad gassing his own people and Donald Trump colluding with Russia to steal the 2016 election.
“Is there anything you’ve’ gotten right over the last 20 years? Iraq? Wrong. Syria? Wrong. Russiagate? Really wrong,” he said. “The list goes on and on.”
Vega added that none of the journalists on the panel compare even to former Fox News host Tucker Carlson—let alone Hersh.
“Tucker Carlson ain’t no Seymour Hersh, but he did something none of you had the courage to do: Speak the truth and actually be critical of the war,” he said.
“We had to find out through leaks that Zelensky was going to bomb Moscow on the anniversary,” Vega said, referring to a recent Post story. “If you’re so impartial, Shouldn’t you at least say Zelensky was going to bring us to the verge of World War 3?”
The journalists on the panel never answered any of Vega’s questions before he was thrown out of the event. He later said on Twitter that his knee was slightly hurt after being tossed by security guards, but he is otherwise unharmed.
The Columbia Journalism School event was scheduled to continue today, with a video message from former President Barack Obama on the agenda.
Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.