Inappropriate Conduct: Mystery of a Disgraced War Correspondent

inappropriate conduct cover“I went in behind the lines and emerged as a kind of agent. I went in as a reporter and came out a kind of soldier. I sometimes wish I had never gone in at all.” -Paul Morton

War correspondents have long entered combat zoned at great personal risk, determined to capture the conflict for those on the home front. But during World War II, Toronto Star journalist Paul Morton found himself not just reporting the war but fighting his own personal battle in a shocking turn of events that led to disastrous consequences for his career.

Morton volunteered in 1944 to parachute behind Nazi lines and report on the guerrilla war being waged by Italian partisans. But after he spent two months writing a series, the British Army changed its battle strategy and ordered stories on the partisans to cease. Morton’s stories were “spiked”, and he was discredited as a correspondent. Morton was subsequently fired by the Toronto Star after they unfairly claimed his reporting was fabricated.

Eye-opening and gripping, Inappropriate Conduct shares the dramatic true story of how Morton became the target of a ruthless campaign that shattered his journalistic integrity and his career. Journalist Don North captures Morton’s experiences from the beginning, using Morton’s previously unpublished memoir and archival sources to create a seamless, powerful narrative that speaks to the tenuous relationship between the truth and propaganda during war.

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2 thoughts on “Inappropriate Conduct: Mystery of a Disgraced War Correspondent

  1. Yet, no matter how frowned-up – journalists who intentionally swallowed truth and spit up OSS/cia propaganda are still thriving. They survived WWII and the cold war, and are intermingling still with the intelligence community, for its privileges, even within the hallowed halls of long-form journalism’s most prestigious ‘writer’s’ magazine; these are the terror days and the message is the same: only war that is perpetual can feed the engines of war. And so those who teach us about war, who investigate and write and travel the middle east to pontificate on who the enemy really is – and why we should fear and support war against them – should disclose who they are – and not write biographies that hide their true identity, and create cover stories for their work down the road. …..

  2. Daniel Warhammer:

    Thank you for your comments after reading my brief outline of “Inappropriate

    Conduct” I strongly agree with you that journalists and writers should disclose

    who they are and not hide their true identity. Its important to know where a writer

    is coming from before we can accept or reject what they write.


    Don North

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