Mort Report is a labor of love by old-style correspondents with lifetimes on the road and young ones with fresh eyes. Our philosophy is simple: we report at first hand with analysis based on non-alternative fact, not opinion. If we get something wrong, we fix it.
BAYEUX, France - An email from Florida landed in this noble Normandy town with less impact than a Nazi shell, yet it was an eerie reminder of how hubris and folly filled so many graves on the beaches nearby. The menace today is America über alles.
Last week, I assembled hard data for a Mort Report Extra on dangers posed by Donald Trump and his enablers. One response, dismissing fact as “liberal-leftist rant,” made plain what the world is up against — and why Bayeux is again on the frontline.
“We can agree to disagree,” the email said, “and you can live in whatever fantasy world you think is best. IF YOU don't like it here, then move to Finland, or the socialist utopia of your dreams.” Sure. We'll leave America to greedheads, useful idiots and flat-out morons like him.
I'd have junked that note, like so many similar ones we all see, but for the reason I'm here. As every year for the past 25, journalists from around the world gathered at the weekend for the Bayeux-Calvados War Correspondents Awards. We honored our own, mourned our fallen, and during long, lubricated, music-blasting nights we avoided shop talk about workaday mayhem.
Some of the gang are fresh out of the box, with new skills and high energy. Others have been at it for half a century. Patrick Chauvel, son of a grand French photographer, just covered his 44th war alongside his 18-year-old son, Antoine, in Iraq.
They are a disparate bunch, but one hard fact defines them. Men and women who wade into risk, spending miserable months staying close to their story, do not lie about what they see.
Photo: Mahmud Hams, AFP, Prix Bayeux-Calvados
“Common sense will tell us, that the power which hath endeavoured to subdue us, is of all others, the most improper to defend us.” Thomas Paine
This is an urgent plea to everyone I can reach. Please pass it on to every American you know before November. Non-voters make up our largest bloc. Others are undecided, and sentient Republicans are wavering. No election in history, anywhere, has been more crucial.
We saw last week how deeply hypocrisy and prostitution now permeate our government. Smart young people offer promise, but if we do not vote now, it will be too late for them. An apathetic, ill-informed electorate will have squandered democracy by default.
If the Mort Report is new to you, I’m a correspondent who has covered world news for 50 years on seven continents for editors who demand strict objectivity. Like all real reporters, I am obsessed with getting facts straight and basing analyses on observation, not opinion.
Until 2016, I’d have cut off a left toe before presuming to tell people how to vote. But I’ve watched Donald Trump for decades, and I know a heartless would-be despot when I see one. During his campaign, it was clear he would attempt a coup d’etat. With a corrupted Republican Party and enough blind cultist followers to sway an election, he threatens not only our democracy but also the survival of our planet. Please keep reading; this is not hyperbole.