In the last issue of The New Yorker, a piece detailing the raid of Osama bin Laden’s compound received rave reviews – at least at first. The article, by Nicholas Schmidle, is by far the most thorough account of the raid as it includes many details about the Navy SEALs team, down to what some of them were wearing. We love the piece, but apparently not everyone feels that way.
The problem – according to critics like Paul Farhi at The Washington Post – is that Schmidle doesn’t explicitly state that he didn’t interview any SEAL directly; instead he relied on interviews with officials who had debriefed the men. But that seems to be nitpicking. There are no direct quotes from the SEALS, so why would anyone think that they were interviewed? David Remnick, Editor-in-Chief at The New Yorker, told WWD via email that the people who were interviewed was pretty clear:
The piece does not say that Nick interviewed the SEALs. In all, he interviewed officials with direct access both in the military, intelligence and in the White House; some of those officials are quoted by name, some not – hardly unusual. All of these sources were known to Nick’s editors and spoke extensively with two experienced New Yorker fact-checkers.
We find it hard to believe that a magazine as good as The New Yorker would go through with publishing Schmidle’s piece without knowing that it was quality work. The article is a great read, and the criticism coming from others is a stretch. A jealous stretch if you ask us.