I'd be interested to find out where Handke "attacked the journalism that reported Serbian atrocities, questioning their very veracity" as Lytal claims. Perhaps he's referring to second-hand information or perhaps he's actually read Journey to the Rivers in which Handke observes too many similarities in the journalists covering the Balkans war:
Nothing against those ... discovering reporters on the scene (or better yet: involved in the scene and with the people there), praise for these other researchers in the field! But something against the packs of long-distance dispatchers who confuse their profession as writers with that of a judge or even with the role of a demagogue and, working year after year in the same word and picture ruts, are, from their foreign thrones, in their way just as terrible dogs of war as those on the battleground. (trans. Scott Abbott)Yes, he questions the veracity of rote reporting yet nowhere have I found any denial of atrocities. He has questioned the silence of rote journalists about massacres in Serb villages but that's only the same thing to those who require a party line.
"In interview after interview," Lytal continues, "[Handke] gave the impression that his own subjective experience was more reliable, and more important, than Western journalism." So let's get this straight: Lytal wants to persuade us (without evidence) of his own "impression" that Handke values his own subjective experience and expects us to be appalled at this alleged selfishness, a selfishness based entirely on Lytal's "impression"? And he and the fact-checkers get paid for this?
See if you get the same impression reading this interview with Handke in which he defends his style of writing.
With the Yugoslav problem, the walls went up immediately. There were some who knew: this is the situation, this is how we should talk about it. You can only say this and that and only in a particular journalistic style. But in the meantime, another way of speaking has emerged that is not going to disappear.Another way of speaking - such as we might find in a novel if, as reader or reviewer, we are prepared to submit to it.