Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sac Bee Reporter Tries to Drop Himself Down the Memory Hole

But luckily, Docweasel took a snapshot.

Bobby Calvan is a reporter for the Sacramento Bee, who was blogging while on assignment in Iraq. On October 23, Bobby posted an entry bragging about being an arrogant jackass to a US soldier manning a security checkpoint. Here's how Calvan himself describes his attitude toward his fellow Americans:
The Americans, however, are the absolute worst. I had a testy exchange Tuesday with an American soldier at an entry checkpoint into the Green Zone.
Calvan then goes on to explain, quite vaingloriously, how he sought to intimidate a checkpoint soldier who questioned his lack of proper credentials:
We couldn’t call for an escort, because he wouldn’t let us switch on our cell phones. (Cell phone batteries need to be removed at most checkpoints.) If we wanted to use our cell phones, we would have to make the far walk beyond the barricades and razor wire. We would have to put ourselves in danger by standing out in the middle of downtown Baghdad where I could become a potential target. (As required, I was wearing my body armour, despite the heat.)

With nothing to lose I decided to get pushy.
This idiot doesn't even seem to realize that cell phones are used to trigger IEDs.

The post brought a flood of negative comments to his blog, and a similar flood of emails to his editors at the Sacramento Bee. First Calvan edited the post to try to make himself come off better, then somebody pulled the plug, not just on this post, but on Calvan's entire blog.

But happily, as I mentioned, Docweasel took a snapshot. In fact, Docweasel perserved the entire Calvan blog entry, along with its comments. Read the whole thing and the comments. The comments give you a good idea of why Calvan decided to disappear his own blog.

I've been able to preserve some of the rest of Calvan's blog, at least through October 18th, because while Google didn't preserve it in their cache, someone else did. This is a link to my entire Calvin Interruptus file.

Here's a sample from the Calvan Interruptus file:
Yes, it was certainly an adventure, my colleagues agreed. A once-in-a-lifetime experience. Some have already turned “once” into “several.” I’m still looking for my initiation into being a foreign correspondent — will reporting mostly from a hotel room count?
Will it count? Why not? Most of the intrepid reporting from Iraq is generated from hotel rooms, based on Iraqi (and undercover jihadi) stringers.