MOSCOW (element) – Luke Harding, the Moscow bureau chief for the Guardian newspaper, revealed that he suffers from a reading disorder which causes him to break stories one month after they appear in other media outlets.
“I suffer from Felcher-Magoo Disorder, and I am tired of trying to hide it,” Harding said while guest-lecturing at a Moscow kindergarten. “It is a reading disorder that only causes you to report on stories you’ve read four weeks earlier. I hope that by my example, others suffering from FMD will come forward as well.”
Last week, Harding published a story about Putin’s hidden wealth which was first reported a month earlier in Die Welt. According to the article, “[T]he Guardian has learned…that the president presides over a secret multibillion-dollar fortune….The claims surfaced last month when the Russian political expert Stanislav Belkovsky gave an interview to the German newspaper Die Welt. They have since been repeated in the Washington Post and the Moscow Times.”
“That article was a cry for help,” said a colleague who asked not to be named.
On Wednesday, Harding called his admission that he suffers from FMD “a relief,” and said he planned to raise awareness by serving as the UN’s “Felcher-Magoo Disorder” ambassador-at-large.
The United Nations has made 2008 “Felcher-Magoo Disorder Year” to raise money to fight the disease, about which doctors still know little.
Harding also revealed plans to enroll in a speed-reading course, with the hope of breaking stories that are only three weeks old by the end of 2009.
“I’ve got news for Moscow’s foreign press corps: you better watch out,” he joked.
Felcher-Magoo Disorder affects nearly one in three Western journalists worldwide.