AP to bloggers: Stop maligning our stringers, chickenhawks

posted at 6:00 pm on December 8, 2006 by Allahpundit

Another volley from Kathleen Carroll, the executive editor. Last Friday, according to Times writer Tom Zeller, she told reporters it would be the height of foolishness to continue to engage the “mad blog rabble” (Zeller’s words). And yet, here we are.

First things first. Where’s Waldo?

[Jamil] Hussein is well known to AP. We first met him, in uniform, in a police station, some two years ago. We have talked with him a number of times since then and he has been a reliable source of accurate information on a variety of events in Baghdad…

As careful followers of the Iraq story know well, various militias have been accused of operating within the Interior Ministry, which controls the police and has long worked to suppress news of death-squad activity in its ranks. (This is the same ministry that questioned Capt. Hussein’s existence and last week announced plans to take legal action against journalists who report news that creates the impression that security in Iraq is bad, “when the facts are totally different.”)

She’s all but accusing the MOI spokesman who challenged them of being a Sadrist tool, which I guess means we’re unwittingly doing the bidding of the Mahdi Army by extension. The AP’s been accused of doing the bidding of terrorists itself, of course, and in case not so unwittingly. So, touche. But here’s an idea: instead of issuing these snide Friday broadsides, produce Jamil Hussein. Snap a few photos and put them on the wire. Or, if that would endanger him, arrange a meeting between him and someone from MOI. Or, if that would endanger him, between him and the Centcom press director. If Hussein feels safe enough to have himself identified by name, rank, and precinct in AP news reports, he should be willing to chat with an American officer for 20 minutes. It’s exceedingly strange and suspect that the AP has available to it hard evidence that would explode its critics charges, yet so far as we know it’s made no attempt to produce that evidence. Not once have they offered to supply anyone with concrete proof of Hussein’s existence. Why not?

She goes on:

The Iraqi journalists who work for the AP are smart, dedicated and incredibly courageous to go into the streets every day, talking to their countrymen and trying to capture a portrait of their home in a historic and tumultuous period…

Questioning their integrity and work ethic is simply offensive.

It’s awfully easy to take pot shots from the safety of a computer keyboard thousands of miles from the chaos of Baghdad.

She’s right. It’s much harder to take pot shots from Baghdad, which is where Times reporter Ed Wong was when he told Zeller there’d been no uproar locally over any kerosene incident — a highly unusual reaction to an event that, er, incendiary. The Times also called some local residents who confirmed there’d been an attack on the mosque but had heard nothing about anyone being burned alive. Does Carroll know that, I wonder? I wouldn’t blame her, if not: the Times has been conspicuously quiet about it. How convenient, though, that instead of having to answer charges from another esteemed media outlet that the incident never took place, she gets to act indignant and slough it off as the product of chickenhawk bloggers’ feverish media-bashing.

As for her assertion that it’s offensive to question the integrity of Iraqi stringers, I wonder if there were any AP “photojournalists” at Chiyeh in Lebanon this summer when bodies were, allegedly, literally being dug up to give the Hezbollah sympathizers from the local bureaus better shots for their propaganda. Funny how that story never got picked up by the AP, even though it was covered on right-wing blogs and has been sourced to a known American photographer posting at a respected forum for professional journalists. Funny too how Carroll understands that the sectarian loyalties of Iraqi government officials might render their motives suspect, yet it escapes her realm of possibility that AP stringers might be moved by the same passion. The Iraqi government, the Iraqi army — universally acknowledged to be crippled by religious partisanship. The Iraqi press corps, though? Pristine. To suggest otherwise is downright offensive.

That’s as much time as I’m going to waste on this on a Friday night. The pity of it is, I’m not unsympathetic to the AP’s predicament here. They have a bunch of anonymous sources who independently corroborate each other and they have a very good reason for not wanting to reveal those sources’ names. There’s not a lot more they could do to substantiate that the incident occurred short of digging up the bodies, which is probably impossible. But to say it’s out of bounds to question the stringers is absurd. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

beirut.jpg

Update: I forgot to link this op-ed by Robert Bateman that’s been making the rounds. An AP article about No Gun Ri used a bogus source; Bateman called them on it; they blew him off without another word. But then, that’s what he gets for being “offensive.”


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

She’s a tool. In more ways than one.

Griz on December 8, 2006 at 6:05 PM

Bloggers to AP: Stop colluding with murders and terrorists.

Number 2 on December 8, 2006 at 6:06 PM

busted and pawning off on ‘right wing bloggers’
obviously history is an elective to liberals; dan rather anyone?

Defector01 on December 8, 2006 at 6:09 PM

AP to AP: Bring.It.ON.

EF on December 8, 2006 at 6:18 PM

I wonder how much time she’s spent in Iraq, or any other war zone. Was Megan McClung a chickenhawk?

bdfaith on December 8, 2006 at 6:31 PM

One word too many here:

Questioning their integrity and work ethic is simply offensive.

Offensive indeed, to those who value the truth.

infidel4life on December 8, 2006 at 6:41 PM

It sounds like our efforts are having an effect.

My suggestion…..turn up the heat!

PinkyBigglesworth on December 8, 2006 at 6:42 PM

Vent: It’s gotten to the point that whenever I read or hear the word “offensive” I want to screech.

Anwyn on December 8, 2006 at 6:44 PM

I’ll go back to Iraq… I’ll even do it for the same I am making now.

Give me a bunk in the green zone, a pistol, and a local who the military says I can trust and who can translate…

Just send me a planet ticket.

E L Frederick (Sniper One) on December 8, 2006 at 6:46 PM

What’s really sad about this whole thing, is that if the bloggers turn out to be wrong, it’ll be a damaging blow to the entire right side of the ‘sphere since so many top-level bloggers have gone absolutely nuts pursuing a story that’s just as questionable on one side as it is on the other.

At some point the blogosphere has got to outgrow this weird, panicky “everything is rathergate” mentality. Sometimes the MSM does deserve to be taken to task, but making a big deal out of everything all the time just makes bloggers look petty, childish and irrelevant.

I understand that constantly b*tching about supposed media bias plays well with a certain niche demographic, but unless bloggers are willing to grow up as journalists and actually do something original that actually matters to people, they will never emerge as the truly viable alternative to the MSM that they already think they are.

John on December 8, 2006 at 6:51 PM

The executive editor of The Associated Press, Kathleen Carroll, in a meeting in her office Friday afternoon, …suggested that to engage these questions — to continue to write about them — merely fueled a mad blog rabble that would never be satisfied.

Are you sure those are Zeller’s words and not Carroll’s? There aren’t quote marks but I think that’s presented as a quote, if an indirect one.

see-dubya on December 8, 2006 at 6:59 PM

The AP is buying these stories because they can sell these stories.

DANEgerus on December 8, 2006 at 7:02 PM

Time to tell any/all newspapers to find a more trustworthy source of news. Tell the local papers THEIR integrity in using AP stories is questionable. Must get local papers to stop using AP.
Cuz, so long as the AP makes money selling these stories – they really don’t care about the questions of accuracy/honesty in the reporting.

Marvin on December 8, 2006 at 7:14 PM

The Iraqi journalists who work for the AP are smart, dedicated and incredibly courageous to go into the streets every day, talking to their countrymen and trying to capture a portrait of their home in a historic and tumultuous period…

Questioning their integrity and work ethic is simply offensive.

I wonder if she would defend the US Military with similar terms. I seem to remember many AP stories questioning various soldiers’ and military leaders’ integrity. That is apparently not offensive, but I would sure like to hear her explain the reason for the difference.

MayBee on December 8, 2006 at 7:16 PM

At best he is a “composite” of a few actual people distilled into one quotable source, at worst just the figment of some over-zealous ” journalism can change the world” propogandist. Either way there is nothing for the blogoshere to feel bad about,all the AP has to do is show some actual proof to take the heat off of them.No proof.ergo they spin and spin till they just start hurling nonsense, let them sell their packaged offal somewhere else.

bbz123 on December 8, 2006 at 7:49 PM

“The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”

–From Hamlet (III, ii, 239)

Wade on December 8, 2006 at 8:02 PM

The Iraqi journalists who work for the AP are smart, dedicated and incredibly courageous to go into the streets every day, talking to their countrymen and trying to capture a portrait of their home in a historic and tumultuous period…

In one of his recent articles, AP Writer Qais Al-Bashir described Anbar Province as “where many of Iraq’s Sunni Arab insurgent groups are based and where many U.S. Marines die in battles with the militants.”

Does she actually read anything that AP produces?

BohicaTwentyTwo on December 8, 2006 at 8:39 PM

Unfortunately there is no good alternative to the AP. Reuters and AFP are just as bad, if not worse. And right now its too expensive to start a new network.

Number 2 on December 8, 2006 at 9:01 PM

Sometimes the most intelligent thing to do is just shut up. Ms. Carroll ain’t too bright.

Pablo on December 8, 2006 at 10:19 PM

Allah,

Headline should read: “AP to bloggers: Don’t stop my lying stringers.”

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on December 8, 2006 at 11:02 PM

Wanna read my disproportionately angry response to Magestrate Carroll at My Pet Jawa?

Do it, friends.

Good Lt on December 9, 2006 at 12:01 AM

First Rule Of Warfare:

If they ain’t screamin’. You ain’t hurtin’ ‘em!

Jack.

Jack Deth on December 9, 2006 at 12:15 AM

Dear Ms. Carroll,

In the spirit of the season, just for you, I’ll supply you with one “free clue.” Here it is: “STFU and stop telling lies to your readers. Thank you for your attention.”

Have a nice conservative day.

georgej on December 9, 2006 at 8:43 AM

The pity of it is, I’m not unsympathetic to the AP’s predicament here. They have a bunch of anonymous sources who independently corroborate each other and they have a very good reason for not wanting to reveal those sources’ names. There’s not a lot more they could do to substantiate that the incident occurred short of digging up the bodies, which is probably impossible. But to say it’s out of bounds to question the stringers is absurd. — Allah, Peace Be Upon Him

…as with intelligence, you can’t “out” your sources in the information industry if it will A) get ‘em killed, or B) cause them to stop talking. Either way, you’re losing the usefulness of your source.

That said, the AP is *SELLING* their intelligence…and haven’t been shy about selling our military and government’s intelligence, as well. I have little to no sympathy for their “plight”. They’re devaluing their “product”. Boo-freakin’-hoo.

They sit in their ivory tower, getting stuff from stringers of questionable allegiance, reliability *AND ALSO VERACITY*. If the bloggers can’t verify that “event X” actually happened, it would seem that AP didn’t take the time to do the homework necessary to establish that what they’re reporting *ACTUALLY HAPPENED*.

If a news agency, which sells thin air essentially on the best of days, is selling your a non-event, it’s worse than selling thin air. It’s selling *NOTHING*.

No…I have no more sympathy for the AP than I do for the National Enquirer having to fork over money to people they’ve slandered or maligned when they print their tripe.

The AP is being used…and the only thing they care about is that we’re saying that they’re being used. We peasants should just shut up and drink our gruel and have done with it, I suppose.

…so much for the liberality of the Left.

Puritan1648 on December 9, 2006 at 10:46 AM

Dear Ms. Carroll,

In the spirit of the season, just for you, I’ll supply you with one “free clue.” Here it is: “STFU and stop telling lies to your readers. Thank you for your attention.”

Have a nice conservative day.

georgej on December 9, 2006 at 8:43 AM

Absolutely G’d damned right. Since all AP does is publish b.s., they have no right to b!+ch when they get called on it. No credibility whatsoever – screw them.

SpartRan on December 9, 2006 at 11:51 AM

From a link on an earlier thread, from a speech from (sadly) outgoing Senator Rick Santorum:

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad…This man may be a fanatic, but let me assure you he is not a stupid fanatic. This man understands and studies America. The Islamic fascists respect us enough to get to know us. They respect us enough to figure out what it will take to defeat us.

I wish that were the case for the American people.

…sort of says it all, doesn’t it.

We can thank Ms. Carroll and her murky underlings, printing Islamist propaganda, for doing their part in desensitizing the American people to the dangers *IMMEDIATELY* inherent in Islamic Fascism. If you report platitudes, fictional outrages, and doctored photos enough, the American electorate will become drowsy and pliable and support whatever you say…as we have recent proof.

Good work, gal.

Puritan1648 on December 9, 2006 at 12:03 PM

…isn’t it nice, by the way, when Ms. Carroll and fellow faux-aristocrats pronounce, and then get all snippy when we peasants *DARE* to speak up.

We really should learn our place. Uppity peasants….

Puritan1648 on December 9, 2006 at 12:05 PM

Is she insinuating that bloggers are “insurgents” against her and her association’s lies?

SouthernGent on December 9, 2006 at 12:30 PM

Is she insinuating that bloggers are “insurgents” against her and her association’s lies? — SouthernGent

…good for us if we are…”insurgents” are considered “sexy” by her fellow travellers…maybe it will get us laid….

Puritan1648 on December 9, 2006 at 12:32 PM

It’s awfully easy to take pot shots from the safety of a computer keyboard thousands of miles from the chaos of Baghdad.

Uh, hello? Your entire business is based on producing news stories thousands of miles from where it’s supposed to have happened. Why else would you need stringers?

James on December 9, 2006 at 12:40 PM

AP to bloggers: Stop maligning our stringers, chickenhawks

Bloggers to AP: Stop making up fake sources in order to justify your fake news.

Lawrence on December 9, 2006 at 7:12 PM

Classic response from the MSM: We are beyond reproach, how dare you even think of challenging anything we “report”. You who challenge our “reporting” are not worthy of an answer from the Great and Almight Oz, you petty, insolent, peasants.

Add this attitude to the Left biased MSM and it is small wonder the AP does not take any challenge to it’s reporting “seriously”. Even independent verification of their sources is out of the question for them.

I say again, in my opinion the MSM, with their extreme bias to the Left to support their political agenda at the expense of the national interest, will not change until not one, but two, disasters happens and the majority of the electorate comes to their senses.

omegaram on December 9, 2006 at 11:04 PM

Something you will not see in the whiny lamestream media, concerning Secretary Rumsfeld’s pre-departure trip to Iraq this week, is the comemnt from one troop, Why am I more patient than someone sitting at home in Fort ‘Livingroom’?”

LewWaters on December 10, 2006 at 12:53 AM

I think the old media and the A (with terrorist) P have been caught red handed acting as the mouth piece of the enemy. Now that the cat is out of the bag, I fear the next time we see the name “Jamil Hussein” in print it will be in the Bagdad obituary. What would be the impact of this phantom’s death, no more uncomfortable questions to answer. Cause of death? Why the Americans, of course.

Zorro on December 10, 2006 at 11:41 AM

Last week the Minneapolis Star Tribune ran a large photo (AP) showing men in head to toe fresh black outfits, faces covered and with a green ribbon head rap. I looked at that for a minute and thought to myself, heh I recognize that, those are Iranian terrorist outfits. Imagine my surprise when I read the lower caption identifying the Iranians as, and you can’t make this schit up, “Iraqi militants”. Geeze.

The next day I looked for the photo on their website, couldn’t find it. I’m no expert so take this with a grain of salt. Ether way the Hot Air folks might want to take a look into this. I think it was published on the 8th.

Timber Wolf on December 10, 2006 at 1:45 PM

Today’s “Day-by-day” cartoon by Chris Muir has it nailed! Click the link and see for yourself.

georgej on December 10, 2006 at 2:22 PM

AP=All Puff

right2bright on December 11, 2006 at 8:26 AM

Thank GOD for Fox News…and the Drudge Report…F U ap…

areseaoh on December 11, 2006 at 1:55 PM