The story of the killing of Osama bin Laden broke four years ago. From the day - May 2, 2011 - that US President Barack Obama revealed the news, there have been varying accounts of exactly what happened, including a few cracks in the official narrative.
He comes right out in the first paragraph and says everything that we've been told about the raid is a lie. It's a challenge to every other journalist who's covered this story… that's the ultimate insult to suggest that you've been spun, completely spun by a White House conspiracy.
However, most of the media have told Washington's version of the story, as did Hollywood.
But now that version of the story has been challenged by one of America's best known investigative journalists, Seymour Hersh.
He reported that it was not a case of the CIA tracing Bin Laden to that compound outside Abbottabad. According to Hersh, a Pakistani intelligence officer gave up Bin Laden, he did it for the reward money and the Pakistani government not only knew that the raid was coming but had, in fact, been keeping the al-Qaeda leader prisoner for nearly five years.
Hersh's journalism came under immediate attack and the most vociferous response did not come from the Obama administration or Congress, but the US press corps. We are examine why that is.
Why, with a story that has been murky from the beginning, is there such a reluctance in the American media to even entertain the account of a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has broken some of the biggest scandals the US has seen in the last 50 years? What are Seymour Hersh's critics defending? The government they report on? Their own journalism? Or is it a bit of both?
Helping us answer these questions are: Cora Currier, a journalist from The Intercept; Patrick L. Smith, from Salon; Philip Ewing, from Politico; and the author Imtiaz Gul.
Source: Al Jazeera