Thursday, December 14, 2006

Megan Stack Distinguishes Herself With Lebanese Coverage

--Written from San Carlos, California

Anyone who reads this blog knows that I'm a booster of the L.A. Times foreign coverage and that I feel it is integral to the successful future of the newspaper.

Take the situation now in Lebanon, where Times coverage by the correspondent based there, Megan Stack, has been positively distinguished.

In a difficult and highly important series of developments, Stack, who is now a seasoned Middle East reporter, has vastly outshone the New York Times reporter, Michael Slackman.

Her recent report that the United Arab Emirates had financed the establishment of an 11,000-man militia to defend the pro-Western regime of Premier Fouad Siniora is something Slackman has still not matched. Yet it explains why the Iranian and Syrian-backed Hezbollah organization has not simply been able to push over Siniora and install Iranian power on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea.

Today, it's reported that Hezbollah has backed down and agreed to a compromise.

Lebanon is a vital locale of the struggle between the U.S. and other Western countries with Iran and Syria. It is an asset to all Times readers that the newspaper has such a skillful and enterprising reporter in Beirut.

Quite aside from all her talents, this is, quite frankly, a dangerous assignment. We are all greatly indebted to her for her outstanding work.

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