Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Serial Offender

William Pesek is the worst columnist writing on Japan for a major news organization.

Please, please, somebody make him stop.

On a tangentially related topic, David Pilling has been promoted to the Hong Kong position at the Financial Times. He was frighteningly decent on the telephone the other day, announcing his transfer from Tokyo -- which makes me kind of sheepish about some of the things I have written about him over the years.

I told him I thought this piece was really rather good.

It is.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why do you point out egregious journalism? I would prefer to be blissfully ignorant.
I can't help but look, and then...sometimes anger, sometimes resignation.
If DP's article on women voters is representative, I'm sure one nice call doesn't negate years of cliches.
-Jill

MTC said...

Jill -

I am sorry that I have wasted your time pointing out bad writing--if only because it is way too easy to direct readers to reportage disasters.

In Pesek's case, however, someone has to call him out--there are just too many Bloomberg terminals on too many desks in the world and way too many English-language newspapers reprinting his junk in their op-ed sections.

No one but no one should be returning his calls.

Anonymous said...

The fault is mine - no self-control.
There's clearly a space for a new blog on bad journalism on Japan.

-J

Adamu said...

I used to like Pesek's direct style and apparent expertise (it is at least more satisfying than the endless vagueness of the Nikkei), but it was only a matter of time before I realized how off he was most of the time.

Did you see this?

"Why is William Pesek, a Bloomberg columnist, writing an entire essay based solely on talking with a single investor? It is nothing more than free advertising for ECM. That is a curious decision for a journalist to make. ECM was a co-sponsor of a recent event in Ulaan Baatar, and one of the main panels featured Pesek interviewing Djumanov in front of the assembled guests. Is that all this is? Pesek got a free trip, so he offered up column space? Who knows. But it doesn’t sit well with me."

Anonymous said...

You know what we say, journalists start to hate the Internet (especially those playing the Parangon of the profession) and disregard the amateurism of some streetblogs. Anyway, I like and understand the criticisms and appreciate the diversity of opinions anywhere and anytime thanks to this interactivity-mode because in many cases, including here, it nurtures debate and proves that diversity and polite confrontation constitute a shield against absurdities, lies and ignorance, distortions, tricksters.

Anonymous said...

Worse than Onishi? That's hard to believe!

MTC said...

anonymous -

Your attack is gratuitous. Onishi-san is not even in the top ten worst foreign journalists currently working in Tokyo. He is indeed the best New York Times correspondent since Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn were assigned here.

Onishi's mistakes are made whilst trying to show sympathy for the underdogs, which is a heck of a lot better than mistakes made in sycophancy to the overlords.

井上エイド said...

You gotta hand it to a guy that can re-write a article on 3/11 Tohoku into one on 2020 Tokyo Olympics... using a lot of the same words and phrases... and have the nerve to publish it with the exact same publisher:

http://japologism.com/i-present-the-anti-japologist/548/comment-page-1#comment-7734

井上エイド said...

FYI, Bloomberg decide to retract and delete that article after the copy/pasting was brought to it's attention.

Perhaps this means his editor will be a little more on top of him.