So we're driving to the Cairo airport in Hillary Clinton's very impressive motorcade, and Keith Johnson of The Wall Street Journal, who is sitting next to me, is writing an article on his Blackberry, in the dark, in a speeding van, and his deadline is four minutes away, and he manages to pull it off, while I was doing the only thing I know how to do while driving through Cairo, which is trying not to throw up. I was very impressed with Johnson, particularly because I'm mainly a magazine writer who is given time and solitude to think about the information he has, and what information he's missing. Johnson, and the other daily (and hourly) reporters on the Clinton magical mystery tour through the Middle East are given no time at all to write intelligently, and yet they do. It is always a humbling experience to be around reporters who can perform at this level.

It is also humbling to think about the four New York Times staffers -- two reporters and two photographers -- who have gone missing in Libya. There seems to be a feeling that they might be in the custody of the Qaddafi's government, and this, all things being equal, might actually be not the absolute worst thing. But praying for them is mandatory. Their predicament is a reminder that the people who gather the news for you, particularly in the conflict zones across the Middle East, are risking their lives to perform this most invaluable service, and that they deserve honor and accolades and good salaries and respect from those who criticize and aggregate for a living.

Thank you. This concludes tonight's Goldblog sermon.

In other news, the world is coming apart at the seams. I'm in Tunisia right now (very exciting, like visiting Lexington and Concord) and the reason I'm not writing more this week about the Middle East is that I'm actually saving up my reporting for an article in our magazine. And also because the more I know, the less I know, and I don't want to inflict my half-baked theories on the readers of this blog  I know, I know, why should this week be different than any other week? But it should be. 

Presented by

Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.


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