But the whole report, with Engel walking through archives in Panama or through the empty Trump building, interviewing Monte Friesner. etc., is couched in the ‘we’, ‘we’, ‘we’ of NBC/Reuters ‘exclusive investigation,’ and suggests that Engel is the real gumshoe here.
It really does reek of rip-off culture, and it’s not as if MSNBC doesn’t know better because Rachel Maddow, who always lavishes praise on the brilliant reporting of Richard Engel, also lavishes praise on the reporting she draws from, often from the Washington Post, which she frequently calls one of the wonders of the modern world.
All other disagreement with Maddow aside, she does operate out of that old journalistic model, where, sure, you’re doing your pirouettes and adding value, but you’re also generous with crediting the original reporting, and making it crystal clear who did the long, hard investigation.
How many times did Alex refer to “an excellent report” from such and such at some often-obscure research shop, and one of us was on the phone with the “excellent investigator”, who was also credited? I remember trying to plug in synonyms for ‘excellent’ in the manuscript but often just letting it ride.
Letter 2 (From a reader in Panama)
Wow! Amazing report. Another huge accomplishment. The article has caused a firestorm here in Panama. Unlike offshore corps business, which is dominated by less than 10 law firms and employ less than 5,000 people, real estate is the biggest industry in Panama and has a huge impact in the economy. It was about time it cleaned up like the banks were forced to do.
How is the reaction so far?
Me: Thank you! Great reaction so far, NBC getting most of credit but I don’t care. Estoy feliz, hablamos luego.
Letter writer: You did the work, and that’s what matters
Letter 3, from my pal Ricky Martínez Benoit in Panama, via Facebook.
Yeah yeah yeah, now that’s on mainstream media, everyone’s sharing the story about Trump and Panama. But it was Mr. Ken Silverstein who did the whole work, and it’s him who deserves all the credit.
Oh, and he’s my bro. And I’m a very proud friend. Congratulations!!!!