Well… We Wish We Never Heard Of Knight Ridder Either!

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Heh. A reporter for McClatchy’s Baghdad bureau posted a whining blog entry because… an American soldier manning a checkpoint never heard of Knight Ridder newspapers:

The American soldier assigned by the U.S. military to oversee this particular checkpoint came over to investigate the problem. He asked if I had a driver’s license on me. I told him I didn’t have one. He looked incredulous. Why would I need a driver’s license in Baghdad; I wouldn’t be driving, I told him. He took offense at my response. Then he looked at the second ID of my companion. It was a badge issued by our newspaper. He said it wouldn’t do. Besides, he asked, what is Knight Ridder? “I never heard of it,” he said. He probably would have never heard of McClatchy, either. (We use Knight Ridder because it already had a bureau in Baghdad before the chain was bought by the McClatchy Co.) I explained that it’s one of the largest newspaper companies in the United States. It owns the Miami Herald, The Sacramento Bee, the Kansas City Star. “I know the Miami Herald, he said. I used to live there. But I never heard of Knight Ridder.” He began to chuckle, pronouncing the company as Knight Rider. […] With nothing to lose I decided to get pushy. I asked him how he could not possibly know that Knight Ridder was one of the country’s largest newspaper chains. I told him that we’re bigger than the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times. “I’m from Atlanta. I only know the Journal,” he said. “I thought you said you also knew the Miami Herald,” I retorted. “We’re bigger than the Journal,” I replied. “You never heard of Knight Ridder?”

Yes, because an underpaid soldier manning a checkpoint in the middle of the Iraqi warzone totally has time to read Editor & Publisher. Reporter Bobby Caina Calvan took down his initial blog entry; we’re linking to a republish of the article that a blogger (thankfully) put online.