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Phil Bronstein: ‘I was duped’ by Vargas

Thursday, June 23, 2011

imagePhil Bronstein isn’t feeling so swell about former Chronicle intern turned Washington Post Pulitzer winner Jose Antonio Vargas having lied to him “and everyone else he worked for” now that the reporter has come out as an illegal immigrant. “I was duped,” the former editor and now editor at large writes of his once having hired Vargas. An excerpt:

In 2003 he wrote a story for us about illegals getting fake drivers' licenses in the Mission when he'd used phony documents to get his own. He told me last week that he decided then that was a serious conflict of interest and wouldn't cover immigration any more. But he later wrote on the topic for the Post.

Add: Like others touched by the Vargas subterfuge, Bronstein juggles disappointment with compassion:

For me, despite the subterfuge, he's done what he intended: given a surprising, articulate and human face to an important issue for at least some of those millions of people out there floating in terrifying limbo. For me, it's the face of a friend.

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