The award-winning New York Times reporter who died in Syria of an acute asthma attack in February said before he left that, if he died, the Times would be to blame, reports Politico. Anthony Shadid engaged in screaming matches with his editors from Turkey before going to Syria, criticizing the logistics of his trip, and slamming the phone in anger, according to his cousin, who spoke at the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee's convention in Washington, DC, last night.
"It was at this time that he called his wife and gave his last haunting directive, that if 'anything happens to me, I want the world to know the New York Times killed me,'" said Ed Shadid. The Times, however, denied responsibility for his death. "The Times does not pressure reporters to go into combat zones," said a spokesperson. "Anthony was an experienced, motivated correspondent. He decided whether, how, and when to enter Syria, and was told by his editors, including on the day of the trip, that he should not make the trip if he felt it was not advisable for any reason."