Jamilgate: Is the AP covering its tracks?

posted at 2:32 pm on December 19, 2006 by Allahpundit

Now here’s something interesting. Curt was reading over the AP’s press releases about Jamilgate on the AP website and noticed that something seemed to be missing from John Daniszewski’s statement on November 28th. So he cross-checked it against another statement from Daniszewski issued that same day and published on one of USA Today’s blogs.

Here’s the USA Today statement.

corroborated-usa.png

The key paragraph is this one:

AP reporters who have been working in Iraq throughout the conflict learned of the mosque incident through witnesses and neighborhood residents and corroborated it with a named police spokesmen and also through hospital and morgue workers.

Okay. Now here’s the statement on the AP website. It’s not the same statement as the one above: it references the correspondence they received from Lt. Dean and a subsequent phone call placed to Jamil Hussein to double-check the story. But it’s similar to the USA Today version in most respects.

corroborated-ap.png

What’s missing from this paragraph?

AP reporters who have been working in Iraq throughout the conflict learned of the mosque incident through witnesses and later corroborated it with police.

What happened to the neighborhood residents and the morgue and hospital workers?

Curt seems to think the two statements were originally identical and that the AP has since doctored the version on its own site to hide details they’re no longer confident about. I don’t think so; like I say, they were issued at different points in time. But the question remains — why didn’t the morgue and hospital workers make it into Daniszewski’s second, later statement? An earlier article was quite specific about them:

Imad al-Hasimi, a Sunni elder in Hurriyah, confirmed Hussein’s account. He told Al-Arabiya television he saw people who were soaked in kerosene, then set afire.

Two workers at Kazamiyah Hospital said the bodies were taken to their morgue. They refused to be identified, saying they feared retribution.

The workers’ testimony only bolsters the AP’s case. Why would Daniszewski have omitted it? If it’s because he no longer felt confident they were telling the truth, why wasn’t a clarification issued? But then, this does seem to be the AP’s M.O. when a fact goes bad on them, like with the four supposedly burned mosques — they don’t retract it, they simply stop mentioning it and hope that people forget about it. Just ask Robert Bateman.

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Ugh. Everytime I read something about the AP I feel like aI need to shower.

Theworldisnotenough on December 19, 2006 at 2:52 PM

They’re not selling accuracy, they’re selling news.

pedestrian on December 19, 2006 at 3:03 PM

Please, do not confuse this interesting story with facts. It could have happened, it may have happened, someone somwhere said it happened, it has been repeated that it happened–it must have happened. And that is the facts–so there!

right2bright on December 19, 2006 at 3:09 PM

They’re not selling accuracy, they’re selling news.

pedestrian on December 19, 2006 at 3:03 PM

The key operative word here is “selling”. At the risk of offending the boss (and getting banned by Allah), I confess that whenever I hear anyone complain about “tabloid journalism,” my verbal “knee-jerk” reaction is swift and merciless. Usually, I say something like “Whaddaya mean, tabloid journalism? Don’t you know that IT’S ALL tabloid journalism? The differences are only a matter of degree.” Or is my level of cynicism over-the-top?

CyberCipher on December 19, 2006 at 3:17 PM

Uh oh. Is it Fitzmastime again?

Cue Joe Wilson.

JammieWearingFool on December 19, 2006 at 3:50 PM

The workers’ testimony only bolsters the AP’s case. Why would Daniszewski have omitted it? If it’s because he no longer felt confident they were telling the truth, why wasn’t a clarification issued?

Because it’s not about whether they were “telling the truth.” It’s about the “workers” being totally fabricated.

That would also explain why no clarification is possible.

Gregor on December 19, 2006 at 4:34 PM

Does Associated (with terrorists) Press have Dan Rather on the payroll? This is starting to sound like the “Fake, but accurate” mantra all over again.

And there are still people reading these stories, believing they are accurate.

rmgraha on December 19, 2006 at 4:34 PM

how about a poll? What is most unethical?

faking photos?
staging photos?
stealth editing stories?
publishing inflamatory stories based on flimsy evidence and sketchy witnesses that could produce a murderous backlash?

forest on December 19, 2006 at 4:37 PM

AP roasting on an open fire
reporters imagining eye witnesses

and though it’s been said
many times
many ways

The MSM’credability … iiiiiiiiisssssssssss sunnnnnnnnnnk…

One Angry Christian on December 19, 2006 at 4:48 PM

why wasn’t a clarification issued?

People don’t “clarify” coverups.

Purple Avenger on December 19, 2006 at 8:40 PM

The AP’s stringer is STILL being held as an Al Qaeda terrorist/supporter by our troops. That’s another “man behind the curtain” we are supposed to ignore on AP’s say-so.

In my view, given the above, I consider the AP to be following its political agenda and lying until proven otherwise.

georgej on December 20, 2006 at 2:17 AM