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Report becomes elephant in the room

CHINA DAILY/REUTERS | Updated: 2023-02-18 09:48

Mainstream media in US accused of ignoring journalist's Nord Stream story

A gas leak is seen at the Nord Stream 2 pipeline on Sept 27 from a Danish F-16 jet off the Baltic island of Bornholm, south of Dueodde. DANISH DEFENSE/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Seymour Hersh, a Pulitzer Prizewinning reporter who spent many years as an investigative journalist for The New York Times, said he did not consider offering his latest story — in which he accuses the United States and allies of bombing Russia's Nord Stream gas pipelines — to the newspaper because it has favored Ukraine in its yearlong military conflict with Russia.

Hersh spoke with Democracy Now!, which published a video of the interview on Wednesday.

The veteran reporter, 85, was asked about his latest piece on substack.com. The story, with the headline How America Took Out the Nord Stream Pipeline, was published on Feb 8.

In the 5,800-word article, Hersh alleges that on Sept 26, 2022, US Navy divers aided by Norway planted explosives that destroyed three of the four natural gas pipelines that make up Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2.

The pipelines, which have a terminus in Germany, supplied European nations with an affordable energy source.

The White House has called Hersh's article "utterly false and complete fiction".

On Thursday, the Russian embassy in Washington said the US should try to prove it was not behind the destruction of the pipelines.

Moscow considers the incident "an act of international terrorism" and will not allow it to be swept under the rug, the embassy said in a statement.

Also on Thursday, lawmakers in the Russian State Duma, the lower house of the nation's parliament, unanimously voted to adopt an appeal to the United Nations demanding a probe into the pipeline explosions.

In the interview, Hersh expressed his frustration with the Times.

"It's a tiresome game to me. So what happens is I do my story on Substack. I wouldn't even think — I'm embarrassed to say it after all those wonderful years I had at The New York Times — I wouldn't even think of taking a story like this to The New York Times.

"They've decided that the Ukraine war is going to be won by Ukraine, and that's what their readers get, and so be it. That's their call."

Hersh has also worked at The New Yorker, The Associated Press, UPI, PBS, the St Louis Post-Dispatch and the London Review of Books.

"I don't know why they're (the Times) not doing more reporting on this, instead of relying on a denial and walking away from the story," Hersh said in the interview. "Ditto for The Washington Post. I think the consequences politically for us in the long run … (we're) looking at even (potentially) some countries walking out of NATO."

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