Later, after noting that Priest had been subject to past criticism for “jeopardizing national security”—but not substantiating that bold characterization, either—the piece notes that Arkin has “been a source of controversy, such as the time he called the U.S.’s volunteer Army “mercenary” in a column, drawing the ire of Bill O’Reilly….” But Hagey provides no further context to Arkin’s views, which are more complex than what her piece makes them out to be. And the “controversy” seems only to exist among right-leaning pundits known for taking things out of context.
The Post’s series is a serious and substantial piece of political journalism. That William Arkin has worked as a blogger for the newspaper does not, in itself, call into question the quality or veracity of his most current work. More importantly, criticisms lobbed at him by a single partisan Web site which has a reputation for skirting the truth are far too thin to form the basis of serious criticisms of “Top Secret America.”
Unfortunately, Hagey’s piece seems geared to manufacture controversy rather than actually report on it.