Jaff, who is Iraqi, was the Times’ journalist who was integral to keeping other reporters safe during the worst days, months and years in Baghdad. He talked people out of dangerous situations, smoothed the way for them when things got dicey, told them where they could go, and where it was too perilous, headed off potential trouble. This often meant that, as an Iraqi citizen, he was the one at the bureau who took the greatest risks of all to make sure that the reporters in his charge could function in what was, for a long period, one of the deadliest of places on earth for journalists.
A source told Fremon that Jaff had “literally saved lives.” For that effort Jaff was reportedly paid $4,000 a month–a pittance for a job as important as bureau chief of a war zone.
Previously on FishbowlLA: Major Layoffs at the LA Times