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  Hallinan Ducks and Covers

For those of you who follow us weekly, we will report now on our attempts to contact Conn Hallinan. For those who are new to this space, we would ask that you first read the following piece, "So Dark the Conn of Afghanistan."

We decided to randomly stress test a Hallinan piece where we would have no particular reason at the outset to doubt his facts, figures, and quotes.
Wow, did Hallinan flunk! We were shocked.

In any event, to be completely fair to the man, we called him to ask that he correct any errors we might have made. In fact, we left two very polite voice mails. You can click below to hear the second of the two. We note that Hallinan’s phone number is listed in the white pages so we are not divulging a secret, and that we would not have recorded his voice had he answered the phone.

To listen to this phone message, please have the latest version of Quick Time Media Player installed and Click Here.

Hallinan, no doubt out of embarrassment at the bust, has declined to return the calls. We had so
much fun with our spot check that we will try this again from time to time.  First, we will choose columns that are as full


Duck and Cover

as possible with facts, figures, and quotes. Second, we will choose columns where we ourselves do not have any strong emotional disagreement with him. Third, if possible, we will stick to articles where we know as little as possible going in to the topic. So, for example, we will choose an article about Uruguay (where, sad to tell, we only know little of what's happening) over one about Congo, where we think we know more.

But why in the world should we have to fact check Hallinan in the first place? That is supposed to be the job of his editor, one Becky O'Malley. Regrettably, O'Malley seems to be asleep at her wheel.