Burning Memories: Watch the AP change their Hurriya sourcing (UPDATED)

posted at 5:54 pm on December 26, 2006 by see-dubya

Confederate Yankee thinks he’s so clever, poking holes in the AP’s version of the Sunni-burning in Hurriya. When first revisiting the story, the AP reported that “two workers from Kazamiyah Hospital” confirmed that “bodies from the clashes and immolation” had shown up at the Kazamiyah hospital morgue.

Well, CY says that according to an Iraqi Brigadier General (not named Jamil Hussein) in an exchange with Multinational Corps-Iraq’s Public Affairs Officer, there is no morgue in Kazamiyah hospital.

Think that’s a pretty good catch, huh? Maybe the AP caught it themselves, because on November 28th, when they re-visited Hurriya after more challenges, this is what a witness told them:

One witness said he and other people from the neighborhood took the six immolation victims to the Sunni cemetery near Baghdad’s Abu Ghraib suburb and buried them after the gunbattle. That witness said one of the victims was the Mustafa mosque muezzin or prayer caller, Ahmed al-Mashadani. He did not know the names of the five others, but said they were all members of the al-Mashadani tribe.

Is this how the AP corrects its stories? Whether there is a morgue at Kazamiyah hospital or not, the destination of the bodies changed within three days, without notice or explanation. Why would we presume this witness–supposedly one of their two anonymous eyewitnesses to the burning–is any more reliable than the fellow who said the bodies went into the morgue at Kazamiyah hospital? Which of the AP’s sources lied to them?

As a reminder, the original account of the burning originated with the mysterious “Captain Jamil Hussein”, and it was almost immediately dismissed as a rumor by the Washington Post’s Baghdad bureau. But remember: every one of these fifty other incidents reported by Capt. Jamil Hussein are rock solid:

Captain Jamil Hussein reports around Baghdad

P.S. Thanks again to Geoff at Uncommon Misconceptions for helping me on the map.

UPDATE: Michelle writes in to say that some of her sources in Iraq say that while there isn’t an official morgue in Kazamiyah, there is a freezer where they can temporarily stash a few bodies.

As I said above, whether or not there’s a freezer, a morgue, or an entire CSI soundstage, it doesn’t change my larger point that the AP changed their story about what happened to these six bodies, if there ever were any, and didn’t bother to explain why. That’s just one more detail about this story that stinks.

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Fake but accurate

Resolute on December 26, 2006 at 5:58 PM

If it turns out that they’ve used their position to affect the course of a war, from the top or the bottom…well…nothing I guess. They’re the AP, what else is there? Reuters? Same game, different name.

I think we need to get to a point where the media is comfortable saying “The following story should not be considered fact, as no source is completely reliable, etc. etc. blah blah. Here’s the facts:”

This guise of uncontested authority is dangerous and allows bias to enter into their product.

thelinyguy on December 26, 2006 at 6:12 PM

You guys work so hard.

You guys are real journalists.

Just like Dan Rather.

Jane *hearts* SEE-DUBYA

seejanemom on December 26, 2006 at 8:12 PM

We have to press this until the AP throws in its hand. This one cannot slide.

Theworldisnotenough on December 26, 2006 at 8:27 PM

Yeah, yeah…uh…we took ‘em to the cemetery; that’s the ticket. The Sunni Cemetery, and we buried ‘em, see? Yeah…that’s the ticket.

Jaibones on December 26, 2006 at 11:27 PM

The Associated Press lied; then the Associated Press lied again to cover their initial lie. They have lied often in the past; they will continue to lie in the future.

The AP is not a group of guys & gals who make a mistake now and then. They are fundamentally, inherently dishonest frauds and weasels who just mae sh*t up to advance their individual careers and their shared agenda–which is anti-Western, anti-Christian, anti-Israeli, anti-Bush……

feh

Janos Hunyadi on December 27, 2006 at 12:06 AM

The Kossacks will just say that we’re quibbling over details, but the larger TRVTH remains, which makes us petty.

I need more duct tape to try to hold my head together.

The Monster on December 27, 2006 at 12:20 AM

If it turns out that they’ve used their position to affect the course of a war, from the top or the bottom…well…nothing I guess.

Why not take B-2s and take out AP’s HQ?

Christoph on December 27, 2006 at 1:32 AM

You guys work so hard.
You guys are real journalists.
Just like Dan Rather.
Jane *hearts* SEE-DUBYA
seejanemom on December 26, 2006 at 8:12 PM

If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were being sarcastic, seejanemom. :)

It’s good to see you posting here, See-Dubya.

Kevin on December 27, 2006 at 2:26 AM

Thanks, y’all. This is a whole lotta fun.

Seejanemom, like ol’ Dan used to say, if a possum had pockets, he’s keep his razor in a breadbox.

Or something like that.

see-dubya on December 27, 2006 at 3:33 AM

anyone want a marshmallow? They have a particularly lovely “roasted over the burning corpse of the MSM” flavor with a hint of cynical humor for flavor.

One Angry Christian on December 27, 2006 at 9:45 AM

If it turns out that they’ve used their position to affect the course of a war, from the top or the bottom…well…nothing I guess. They’re the AP, what else is there? Reuters? Same game, different name.
thelinyguy on December 26, 2006 at 6:12 PM

Well informed people (meaning people who read blogs) know AP and Reuters are relying on stringers and that their credibility is nil – that the problem is far beyond bias. But until we can get folks like my mother, who reads the front section and the living section of the paper, watches Katie Couric, and considers herself well-informed, to be knowledgeable about the news they consume we’re just spinning our wheels. This situation just cries out for an hour long news special detailing the whole thing, but I don’t think anyone, even Fox, will do it.

Laura on December 27, 2006 at 11:49 AM