Good morning, City Desk readers, and welcome to another edition of Freedom Friday. Before we get started, I have to confess that I was doored again—the second time in as many months. I know the rules of the road/engagement, but I can’t help myself: when I see a chance to avoid slowing down or stopping, I take it. Last night, that meant getting knocked completely off my bike by a guy exiting a cab and landing on the trunk of a parked car nearby. But don’t worry about me, I escaped with only a small cut on my shoulder. My front rim, however, is wrecked, as is the cabbie’s back right passenger door.  While I should probably find a new route or learn to take my time, I doubt I’ll do either. And that’s what freedom is all about.

The Washington Times‘ evolving credibility, the Motorhome Diaries, the Veterans Administration, and more after the jump.

  • Last month I applauded the Washington Times for covering the Chas Freeman story, and argued that thanks to Eli Lake (formerly of the New York Sun), the paper is developing a formidable archive of enterprising foreign policy reporting. Fishbowl DC announced on Wednesday that the Times had snatched up Pulitzer prize-winning reporter Chuck Neubauer, formerly of the Los Angeles Times—no small feat for a paper that runs scripture in its op-ed pages on Christmas day. Perhaps with a little more time, people will learn to ignore the Washington Times’ strange founder (just as so many Beltway liberals are capable of cheering The New Republic while bashing Marty Peretz, the magazine’s “racist” owner and editor in chief; and just as sophisticates across the country barely looked up from their Kellogg’s Cinnamon Toast Crunch when the the New York Times announced it had accepted a cash injection of $250 million from a corrupt Mexican oligarch) and judge the paper by its merits alone.
  • Speaking of the shit human beings will tolerate, someone needs to raise a fuss about this: “David Schultz, a reporter for the NPR affiliate WAMU in D.C., had his microphone, headphones, and a digital recorder seized by police and PR reps from the Veterans Administration when he interviewed veteran Tommy [Canady] at a public town hall meeting in D.C. yesterday….[Canady] was attempting to tell Schultz about the poor treatment he says he’s been getting from the VA hospital. VA officials claim Schultz didn’t identify himself as a reporter, failed to obtain a VA-approved waiver before speaking with [Canady], was both exploiting [Canady] and violating [Canady]’s right to medical privacy.” That’s from Radley Balko at Reason, who also writes that “the VA still hasn’t returned Schultz’s equipment.” One Reason reader wasn’t very sympathetic towards Schultz:

“Back in my college days a friend of mine who was a reporter for the college rag refused to leave an (improperly) closed session of some policy-making body, and then when they demanded he leave, he taunted them to have the cops drag him out of the room, as he wasn’t leaving any other way.

If he knows where to take a stand, what the fuck is wrong with “adult” reporters and their news outfits that they capitulate so easily?”

Great question!

That’s it for me folks, I’m off to find a new front rim.