Ok, so the title of the post is a bit of a rhetorical stretch, but I should get some points for trying.

Karl at Protein Wisdom had a great summary of the Jamil Hussein scandal with the Associated Press, near the end he goes into some of the other botched/faked coverage by the world's "premier" news wire.

The AP’s initial response to questions raised about Capt. Hussein stated that he “had a record of reliability and truthfulness,” neglecting to mention that the AP itself could not verify at least one of his prior claims and had contrary information. Moreover, The New York Times was unable to substantiate the story and reported that some neighborhood residents denied it. Similarly, the Washington Post reported that two local imams denied such an attack took place. Months later, disgraced former CNN exec. Eason Jordan found “conflicting and unconfirmed information regarding whether there’s a Captain Hussein and whether the reported immolation happened.” (I expect the left-leaning blogs that suddenly discover the Jamil Hussein story now will focus on the eeeevil right-wing blogs and largely ignore that The New York Times, WaPo and IraqSlogger were all a part of this particular VRWC.)

We now know there is a Capt. Hussein, but we pretty much knew that already; he appears to have been a source for al Jazeera before he was a source for the AP. But we are not much closer to knowing who he is—his background, possible biases arising from that background, the origin of his ability to be intimately aware of incidents outside his jurisdiction, why he claimed four mosques were burned, and so on. Nor are these moot questions, as it seems that most of the AP stories sourced to Hussein are not corroborated by other press accounts. Indeed, in this case, there remains no evidence of his claim that four mosques were attacked, and only the word of three anonymous Sunnis that six people were burned alive (one of whom contradicted the first AP story in one respect).

And so forth. In an update he mentions the horrendous AP coverage of Hurricane Katrina in which rapes and murders were reported that never happened. Throughout it all, AP executives have expressed dismay and anger at the thought that mere bloggers would question the AP's credibility by checking its sources.

(HT: Confederate Yankee.)



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