New evidence has emerged that VICE CEO Shane Smith lied about being a war time correspondent for Reuters.
Smith interviewed President Barack Obama in Atlanta last week. The videotape had yet to air.
It's coming. pic.twitter.com/eDwWLLagKJ
— shane smith (@shanesmith30) March 13, 2015
In light of the revelations of fabrications from old media reporters like NBC News Brian Williams and Fox News Bill O’Reilly Smith’s past fabrications show that new media isn’t exempt from manufacturing the past.
A email from Smith contemporary Robert Terbeek recalls that Smith didn’t have a “scintilla of journalistic intent” at the same time he was supposedly working as a wartime correspondent for Reuters in Bosnia he was actually partying it up in France.
I hadn’t realized (or maybe forgotten) that S. had been making claims about covering the civil war in Yugoslavia. I was with him up to the period of the fall of 1991. We were both living at the Chateau de Voltaire in Ferney-Voltaire, France, right outside of Geneva. He was banging Sophia Southam (and I her Mom). The Chateau belonged to the family of Jacqueline Lambert (first wife of Hamilton Southam). I had a job there cooking and remember watching the collapse of the Soviet Empire take place many an evening in the “Salon Vert” with Michael Southam. Even have a picture of Shane and I at the Chateau. Journalism wasn’t even a glint in his eye. Suffice it to say he was broke. Eventually Shane and a friend of his (Byron) got kicked out of the Chateau for well, not doing anything except eat, drink and sleep. They would come around and literally sneak onto the Chateau grounds to beg me for food. Seriously.They were lucky enough to have found a place to sleep at a small farmhouse that also belonged to the family. I would bring them food there. They literally had no food or money at one point. Anyways. Sometime in the early fall they had somehow gotten the money together to go to Yugoslavia. More for the cheap booze than anything else. There was a mutual lady acquaintance of ours who’s parents had a family home in Dubrovnik. As I remember, they came back through Ferney-Voltaire several months later on their way back from Yugolsavia [sic]. None the richer but with many drinking tales. All we did back then was party. There was political talk aplenty but definitely no scintilla of journalistic intent.
That isn’t how Smith tells it.
In May 2007, Smith told Patrick Sisson in a Playboy interview that he was a wartime reporter for Reuters in Bosnia.
“You wrote for Reuters in Bosnia in the 1990s,” Sisson began in the Playboy interview. “Did that experience affect how you viewed the world and the way you look at Vice?”
“Definitely,” Smith replied. “I went down to Serbia and Croatia during the war. I covered the ethnic cleansing and did a big thing on [former Yugoslavian dictator Josip Broz] Tito,” he said.
The Financial Times also credited Smith with doing some work for the Budapest Sun, in addition to Reuters.
“[Smith] moved to Hungary, freelancing for the Budapest Sun and Reuters, and carved a lucrative, yet precarious, sideline as a currency hedger,” wrote Matthew Garrahan in December 2012.
But representatives for both the Budapest Sun and Reuters told this reporter in 2013 that neither company has a record of Smith ever working for them, let alone a massive story on Tito under his byline, which he would have had to write in his early twenties.
In the Playboy interview, Smith went on to criticize the journalists he said he saw in Bosnia as a Reuters correspondent.
“When I was there, you’d see the Croatian stringers go out and get the story and tell the Americans what happened, and then they would stand in front of a burning car and say this is what is going on,” Smith said. “It was total bullshit. These huge media machines are cranking out this shit.”
That characterization belies the risk that reporters truly faced in Bosnia, according to Smith’s critics. Producer David Kaplan of ABC News, for instance, was killed by a sniper bullet while traveling in a motorcade of journalists. More than 50 journalists were killed in the former Yugoslavia between 1991 and 1994, according to The New York Times.
Smith’s repeated lies about his past should make us doubt his journalism.
In 2013 Gotnews.com editor-in-chief Charles C. Johnson wrote an article laying out Smith’s other lies for the Daily Caller.