Journalist Condemns 'Complete Failure' of Media after Quitting Newsweek over OPCW Story
British journalist Tareq Haddad, who resigned from Newsweek after its management had refused to publish his report on the alleged chemical attack in Syria, gave an exclusive interview to RT, in London on Tuesday. Haddad said that he was preparing an article on the alleged chemical attack in the Syrian city of Douma, based on the letter purportedly leaked by a member of the Organisation for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which suggested that the organisation's interim report had been altered and the findings of the OPCW inspectors had been suppressed.
Haddad recounted that his article was turned down despite the fact that the Mail journalist Peter Hitchens, who he said was "an accomplished journalist for 20 years," had already "published this in a reputable publication," and "the letter has since been verified by Reuters."
The journalist said that he "kept pushing" with the OPCW story, following which he "was referred to a Bellingcat article." "I was a bit disturbed that I wasn't really given any valid reasons other than Bellingcat had refuted this article, and like I said, they are not a source to be trusted, in my opinion," stated Haddad.
He then condemned what he described as "a complete failure of the media," with "very few" Western journalists reporting on the story.
"Our job as journalists is to hold governments to account. And if governments are going to war on false premises, then, you know, and we have good evidence to suggest that now, and no one is reporting it, then we aren't doing our job as journalists," said Haddad.