Isis, Oh, Isis

Earlier this week, Max Blumenthal, a journalist who has written for The Nation and other outlets, wrote a piece for Salon detailing James O’Keefe’s history with issues of race. For an article that will appear in CJR next week, Greg Marx examined Blumenthal’s allegation that O’Keefe, along with another man, planned a 2006 event at which white nationalist Jared Taylor spoke.

One of Blumenthal’s sources for this point was a D.C.-area photographer who goes by the name of Isis. Earlier today on his personal blog, a post by Blumenthal called into question Marx’s reportorial diligence in attempting to get in touch with Isis. Blumenthal wrote that Isis told him Marx had never attempted to contact her, and that Marx “could have easily have obtained her contact information from me or Daryle Jenkins, the founder of One People’s Project. But Marx did not do so.” After CJR provided him with audio evidence that Marx had indeed tried to contact Isis via Jenkins, Blumenthal updated his post to confirm that Marx and Jenkins had spoken. The update initially failed to mention that Marx had clearly asked Jenkins to put him in touch with Isis. Blumenthal has since revised the update to reflect that fact. Which we appreciate.*

For the record, here’s a transcript of the relevant portion of the conversation between Jenkins and Marx: 

Greg Marx: I tried to, um, contact the photographer, Isis, through her Web site, but it appears that that e-mail address is no longer functioning. Would you be able to either provide me with her contact information or let her know that I’m trying to reach her?

Daryle Jenkins: Um. You said you’re with the Columbia Law Review or Columbia Law Journal?

GM: Columbia Journalism Review.

DJ: Columbia Journalism Review. Do you have an e-mail from Columbia Journalism Review, because, um, she’s also… she does tend to be a little apprehensive about speaking to folks. I mean, Breitbart, um, kind of, like, tried to do a hit-and-run with me yesterday. So, um, we’re pretty much on guard. We want to make sure that — she wants to, in particular, make sure that, uh, she’s talking to legitimate people.

GM: OK. Um.

DJ: She’s definitely going to tell me that. That’s why I say that.

GM: OK. The, the, the address that I use most of the time is my Gmail account. Uh, I don’t have a, a — our Web site is, I don’t have a CJR e-mail account. I do have a account, because I was a journalism student at Columbia last year before becoming — before going to work for the magazine.


GM: And I can give you that address. That’s functioning.

DJ: OK. Um. I’d better do it quick because I’m — I’m actually on the train and I’m about to go under a tunnel. What would be the, uh, what would be the e-mail address?

GM: It’s g-a-m

DJ: Uh-huh.

GM: 2-1-2-8.

DJ: Uh-huh.

GM: At columbia dot edu.

DJ: G-A-M-2-1-2-8 at columbia dot edu.

GM: That’s it.

DJ: OK. I’ll try to contact her now.

GM: I appreciate it, Daryle.

DJ: All right.

* In the second paragraph of the original version of this post, I wrote that “Blumenthal suggested that Marx had not attempted to get in touch with Isis.” That line could have been misinterpreted to mean that Blumenthal had flat-out written something similar to those words. He did not. The line has been deleted, and the rest of the paragraph has been adjusted to clarify this point.

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Justin Peters is editor-at-large of the Columbia Journalism Review.