Recent exchanges about Wilfred Burchett have seen several of his apparent defenders, such as Simon Nasht (yesterday, comments) and Nick Shimmin (10 December, comments & 12 December, comments), erect various straw men and avoid the real issues surrounding his actions, especially during the 1950-53 Korean War.

Chief of these is the claim that Burchett was "only a journalist who reported from the other side". This attempted defence ignores two key issues: what Burchett did in addition to his reporting and why; and the dubious, at best, motivation, objectivity and quality of most of his post-World War II reporting.