Jamilgate: Eason Jordan goes nuclear on the AP; Update: AP responds to Eason Jordan

posted at 2:20 am on January 2, 2007 by Allahpundit

No righty blogger will ever trust him, but give him credit for pushing this knowing that it won’t endear him to his remaining fans. I look forward to Eric Boehlert’s next dopey exercise in What Warbloggers Believe, in which Eric explains how a guy who once accused U.S. troops of trying to murder journalists is actually a neocon Bush-booster busying himself with minutiae to avoid facing the hard facts on the ground.

Expect some sniping at him from the left tomorrow, too, with nastiness inversely proportional to familiarity with the details of the case. Everything in Iraq is as bad as it could be, especially the things that never happened, and anyone who says otherwise is a tendentious liar who’d happily betray the Larger Truth for the, um, actual truth.

As for the post itself, he forgot to mention the four mosques that burned tragically in the first AP story and then somehow didn’t merit so much as a footnote in their re-reporting of the incident. On the other hand, he did note that it’s 60 stories that are in question here, not just one. Nuance.

When two governments challenge the veracity of your reporting, when there are reasonable doubts about whether your prime named source for a sensational exclusive story exists, when there’s no proof a reported horrific incident occurred, when the news outlet responsible for the disputed report stonewalls and is stridently defensive, when the validity of dozens of other of your reports has been called into question as a result, then that news organization has a scandal on its hands, and that is where the AP finds itself.

Having learned from my own successes and failures and those of others, I know that a journalistic scandal can be handled effectively only when the news organization’s management deals with it pro-actively, constructively, and transparently, with a readiness to admit any mistake, to apologize for it, and to take appropriate corrective action.

The AP has failed to do so in this case.

I, therefore, urge the AP to appoint an independent panel to determine the facts about the disputed report, to determine whether Iraqi Police Captain Jamil Hussein exists, and to share the panel’s full findings and recommendations with the public.

Exit question: Do you believe him when he says he’s learned from his failures? Because, dude.

Update: Stonewall.

Kathleen Carroll, AP executive editor, told E&P today that she had not read Jordan’s latest item, posted Monday, and likely would not. But she stood by the news organization’s previous statements backing the existence of an Iraqi police captain, Jamail Hussein.

“I’ve been pretty public about what we have done to get to the crux of the criticism we have gotten about it,” she added. When asked about critics’ demands that AP produce Hussein to prove his existence, she said “that area [where he works] has pretty much been ethnically cleansed, it is a nasty place and continues to be.”

Carroll said that Hussein “is a guy we’ve talked to for years,” adding that “we don’t have anything new to say about it, nothing new to add.”

You want the real bombshell today? Go read Bob Owens’s systematic googling of 40 other stories sourced to Jamil Hussein. Turns out there’s not much independent corroboration of those either. How much? Best as he can tell — zero. Didn’t anyone at the AP notice that at the time, he wonders. Or did they just not care?

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Dude, I leave and this happens? Crap.

I’m ready to listen to Jordan. As I thought at the time, he didn’t have to publish that mea culpa article in the New York Times, but he did.

On the other hand, what he said in Davos certainly doesn’t endear him to me or make me want to trust him.

see-dubya on January 2, 2007 at 2:39 AM

I strongly urge the Associated Press to bend over backwards and kiss its own ugly ass–and then dissolve itself, in the name of All That Is Good & Right In The World

Janos Hunyadi on January 2, 2007 at 3:17 AM

I believe him that he’s learned from his mistakes. The problem is, because of his decision, we didn’t get to learn the lessons of Saddam.

And this…:

Now that Saddam Hussein’s regime is gone, I suspect we will hear many, many more gut-wrenching tales from Iraqis about the decades of torment. At last, these stories can be told freely.

…never did end up happening. Instead of those stories ever really getting attention, the press had moved on to the stories of looting, and Garner vs. Bremer, and no WMDs, and eventually Michael Moore’s kite-flying Saddam was the one getting international play. Now Saddam has been downgraded to simply the “strongman” that kept Iraq together.

Jordan made the decision to portray part of the story as the whole truth, and there’s been no going back. That isn’t just a journalistic scandal. I fear, however, that the only lesson others learned is that it is a great way to create the story line of their choice.

I hope Jordan can have a different impact now. I admire him for trying.

MayBee on January 2, 2007 at 3:48 AM

Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Sean M. on January 2, 2007 at 5:44 AM

He’s got plenty for which to redeem himself, but he is saying the right things here.

This is a fairly sharp turn from his position a few weeks ago, isn’t it?

Pablo on January 2, 2007 at 6:04 AM

Jordan has acted like an ass in the past, but I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. People *do* change, and people *do* learn. If the episode in Davos and the backlash resulting from it has made him to come to a bit terms with his own bias and he now tries to do what his actual job is – journalism -, then I’m all for it. I can live with differing opinions.

Wired German on January 2, 2007 at 6:22 AM

Unless the MSM is taken down HARD (and I’m talking prison or the death penalty for treason here), they will continue to lie to the public, make up “stories”, fabricate “facts, all in an attempt to dishearten the American public against the war. They did it in Vietnam. They tried to do it during the Gulf War. They did it in Afghanistan, and they did it in Iraq.

They will never change. Their “liberalism” borders on America-hating treason whenever America goes to war. Once again, IMHO, the crossed the line. Their behavior goes far beyond “dissent” or “telling the story,” as THEY MAKE IT UP IN ORDER TO DESTROY AMERICA’S WILL TO PREVAIL. They are openly and deliberately sabotaging the war, partly because they are leftists who always want to see America lose, and because the personally hate George W. Bush.

I say enough!

One of America’s great “liberal” jurists wrote;

When a nation is at war many thing which might be said in time of peace are such a hindrance to its efforts that their utterance will not be endured so long as men fight and no court could regard them as protected by any Constitutional right. [Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Schenk v. US, 249 US 47, 52 (1919)]

It’s time to put the management of the Associated Press, the American office of Reuters, the Washington Post, and the New York Times either in prison — or in the ground. I really don’t care which, either.

georgej on January 2, 2007 at 6:52 AM

Losing your credibility is like losing your virginity; once it is gone, it is gone forever.

A journalist’s most important attribute is his/her credibility.

So ask yourself, what is the difference between journalism and propaganda?

A journalist reports the facts, all of the facts, not just the evidence that supports the conclusion to which the ‘journalist’ is directing his audience.

Propaganda attempts to lead someone to accept a conclusion, despite facts or reasoning that refute that conclusion.

Since the day the Hindenburg caught fire, reported live by radio, ‘journalists’ have been attempting to recreate the drama of that moment.

Since the day Walter Cronkite, on camera ‘live, via satellite’, maneuvered Menachem Begen and Anwar Sadat into extending the hand of peace, ‘journalists’ have been attempting to recreate that moment.

Since the day Dan Rather, repeatedly, publicly crucified Richard Nixon, ‘journalist’ have been attempting to recreate that moment.

Since the day Charles Lindburg’s baby was kidnapped, ‘journalists’ have been attempting enlarge their careers by continuous reporting of similar, sensational, events.

I suspect a knowledgeable historian could cite earlier examples.

rockhauler on January 2, 2007 at 7:01 AM

I don’t know about anything else he may say, but what Eason is itting deadend-wise seems quite consistent with what I and several stateside bloggers are hitting.

I’m still somewhat surprised that someone has turned up pcitures of these four mosques yet. If pictures are produced showing that they are relatively intact, and not rocketed with RPGs, the walls shattered with heavy machine gun fire, and burned to an empty shell in–what was the AP’s word… an “inferno”?–then we’ve got one certifiably bogus story.

Bob Owens on January 2, 2007 at 7:17 AM

Maybe EJ’s changed his ways, maybe not. I say let him ride with the posse but keep an eye on him. In the mean time, if his name recognition can help get the Jamilgate issue some coverage it wouldn’t have gotten otherwise so much the better. When I heard he’d crawled out from under his rock I figured the best thing to do was just ignore him, and I dang sure never expected to link to anything he wrote. What’s next, is Kerry going to get something right?

bdfaith on January 2, 2007 at 7:17 AM

I guess if FDR could make nice with Stalin …

bdfaith on January 2, 2007 at 7:21 AM

I would guess he has learned from some mistakes, like just about all of us.

But this bothered me:

Still, I felt I had a moral obligation to warn Jordan’s monarch, and I did so the next day. King Hussein dismissed the threat as a madman’s rant. A few months later Uday lured the brothers-in-law back to Baghdad; they were soon killed.

Did he feel a moral obligation to warn the king, but not the other men? Why?

mikeyboss on January 2, 2007 at 7:50 AM

Trust….. no.

Support? Yes.

He’ll get a +1 if it goes through.

Mortis on January 2, 2007 at 8:04 AM

Trust Jordan? Procede with caution.

Wade on January 2, 2007 at 8:17 AM

In the immortal words of Ash: “It’s a trick. Get an ax.”

Kidding.

I wonder if Jordan finally sees what the rest of us have been seeing over the past few years – the media seems increasingly willing to sacrifice credibility for a good yarn or a biased story. The AP has long since proved itself to be an untrustworthy news organization as far as I’m concerned. Maybe journalists who depend on the AP for breaking news and content are starting to grow less willing to trust them as well.

Slublog on January 2, 2007 at 8:54 AM

Ah, now I understand Jordan’s motovations. Its all about spiteful payback. “I made baseless false accusations and I got fired for it. Now AP thinks they can do the same think and have nothing come from it? I dont think so.”

BohicaTwentyTwo on January 2, 2007 at 9:08 AM

Jordan’s solution to the problem is typical political liberalism:

. . . appoint an independent panel to determine the facts about the disputed report, to determine whether Iraqi Police Captain Jamil Hussein exists, and to share the panel’s full findings and recommendations with the public.

Hey Eason, I think the Pajama Clad Media has already shown that the story was false and that Capt Hussein does not exist.

Absent from his recommendations are:
a) determine how the AP stories and sources are vetted and how such huge errors could be allowed
b) determine if there was malfeasance or neglect when the reporters and editors ran this story
c) determine why they didn’t come clean immediately
d) this is the most important, fire everybody involved. With the money you save, maybe you could hire the guy at Little Green Footballs to verify their stories.

Jordan wants to know what went wrong with this story, not what is culturally wrong with the AP or MSM. This panel will just serve as a smoke screen for the same shoddy “journalism” that we’ve come to expect.

cmay on January 2, 2007 at 9:15 AM

. . . appoint an independent panel to determine the facts about the disputed report, to determine whether Iraqi Police Captain Jamil Hussein exists, and to share the panel’s full findings and recommendations with the public.

The bloggers ARE the independent panel!

Mojave Mark on January 2, 2007 at 9:20 AM

In the words of a great man, “Trust but verify.”

Zetterson on January 2, 2007 at 9:35 AM

Eason and Bernie need to get together for a tour.
The left hates it when one of their own “see the light”. Eason will get a taste of what it is like to be a conservative reporter. He will never be asked into the world of MSM again. Hope he likes to eat alone at night.

right2bright on January 2, 2007 at 9:48 AM

All right, fair is fair.

I have taken to sniping harmlessly at Allah over various things lately, from religion to the NY Times, but this might be the closest I get my name to such a great paragraph, so …

No righty blogger will ever trust him, but give him credit for pushing this knowing that it won’t endear him to his remaining fans. I look forward to Eric Boehlert’s next dopey exercise in What Warbloggers Believe, in which Eric explains how a guy who once accused U.S. troops of trying to murder journalists is actually a neocon Bush-booster busying himself with minutiae to avoid facing the hard facts on the ground.

AllahPundit

We are not worthy…

Jaibones on January 2, 2007 at 9:56 AM

It’s time to put the management of the Associated Press, the American office of Reuters, the Washington Post, and the New York Times either in prison — or in the ground. I really don’t care which, either.
georgej on January 2, 2007 at 6:52 AM

What kills me about this statement is how out raged people get when a conservative actually points out the obvious: they are seditious and in a few instances … even treasonous.

If you can’t get that you haven’t read the law.

At the every least they should be fined 500k for their first offense, 1 million for their second, and jailed for the third. That would be a serious deterent for people who want to dump our national security all over the front page of their news paper.

One Angry Christian on January 2, 2007 at 10:14 AM

I never thought that I’d ever sympathize with the reporters feeding the AP newswire, but I have to admit that Police Captain Jamil Hussein is every bit as real as my talking collie. Perhaps Eason Jordan should “press” for yet another “doggone” investigation. Ya’ think?

CyberCipher on January 2, 2007 at 10:32 AM

I guess it “takes one to know one” is certainly true in this case. If anyone can spot “faked” and “staged” news stories, CNN and Jordan in particular should be the ones. I have little regard for Jordan as a human being, but it certainly hurts the AP’s credibility to have this guy on their back. When lefty journalists call out other lefty journalists I always enjoy the show and believe that karma is a hell of a thing……..

ritethinker on January 2, 2007 at 10:55 AM

here’s an interesting question …

where do you draw the line with misinformed reporters or lying reporters? If a reporter publishes something inaccurate should they be prosecuted during a time of war?

What if the innaccuracy is … petty? Where would you draw the line? Do you lump bloggers in this catagory? That just opened a massive door to nailing the truther sites and the anti war sites that often publish blatant lies.

Here’s one MORE question: what happens when they turn that on … us? Don’t think it won’t happen … it will. They’re already using every tool at their disposal to destroy anyone who contradicts them. That’s just the next logical step.

One Angry Christian on January 2, 2007 at 11:56 AM

If a reporter publishes something inaccurate should they be prosecuted during a time of war?

If the bogosity is regarding the color of the Dixie cups at the mess hall, no. Trivia like that is so trivial, nobody would ever notice it anyway – or care.

If its regarding massacres that never happened, perhaps.

Like the definition of pron – hard to pin down but you know it when you see it.

Purple Avenger on January 2, 2007 at 12:22 PM

AP seems to have a refreshed alacrity in his writing today.
Hope your time off was somewhat well spent. Welcome back.

from iraqslogger:

Associated Press has a journalistic scandal on its hands that will fester until the AP deals with it properly.

Does the AP even wonder if they have credibility issues? Are they so obtuse that they don’t believe this is quite damaging to an already damaged image? Or since they have the monopoly, they simply do not care. They don’t care about the truth, that seems plain enough. But what about the future.
I don’t even know what to tell my 14 year old son about truth in news,printed, TV, etc.
> MM, AP, Bryan, what do you tell kids?
This journalistic dis-honesty has immense implications that will harm our trust, the readers, for years to come.

shooter on January 2, 2007 at 12:47 PM

if you have to ask if they didn’t wonder or didn’t care you’re not reading your own article allah.

Yeah, I know. You’re being fecetious.

:-P

One Angry Christian on January 2, 2007 at 1:06 PM

When asked about critics’ demands that AP produce Hussein to prove his existence, she said “that area [where he works] has pretty much been ethnically cleansed, it is a nasty place and continues to be.”

Question: Mom, what are we having for dinner?

Answer: Frankenstein never scared me much. But lemurs do. Because they’re fast.

natesnake on January 2, 2007 at 1:35 PM

It’s not like we want to expose “Mr. Hussein” so that he’ll be killed. It’s really simple; just send a couple independent journos over to meet him, privately. He can keep his identity confindential.

The AP will not do this because….. wait for it….. almost there…..

HE DOESN’T EXIST!

natesnake on January 2, 2007 at 1:39 PM

What is important, is that the story sounds true, and Jamil sounds like a real person, and they believe he is real. So armed with those two truths, they are defending themselves. We have to prove that the story in untrue, and that Jamil does not exist. One has been done, the other Jamil, has not been proved he does not exist.
Might as well tell a christian that Jesus does not exist, faith alone is enough.
Jamil to AP is like Jesus to the Christians…that is their logic. They will not convert.

right2bright on January 2, 2007 at 2:05 PM

Excellent work by Bob Owens. If you haven’t read it yet over at CY, do so.

Good posts here, but it seems Rockhauler has the anchor…

A journalist reports the facts, all of the facts, not just the evidence that supports the conclusion to which the ‘journalist’ is directing his audience.

Propaganda attempts to lead someone to accept a conclusion, despite facts or reasoning that refute that conclusion.

Just as almost everyone to take a witness stand in a courtroom actually violates the oath to tell “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth“, by selectively presenting facts which support their preferred side of the case and leaving those which do not, journalists have always chosen which bits and pieces of a story to include and exclude.

Heard any reporting on the economy lately? Wonder why. Oh, but we all know that gas prices jumped.

Eason Jordan’s credibility is long gone, and his motives should always be questioned. On this story, however, there is no value possible to his own career, since he has surely made an enemy of the AP, so we can loan his words some credibility. Plus, he has obviously done the preliminary homework to know what steps the AP did and didn’t take in the early stages of this obvious cover-up, and there’s credit for that as well.

The big question now is how far the AP is willing to take these shenanigans. The longer they hold on, the worse the fallout. This isn’t memo-gate, it’s more than a hundred times bigger. It’s going to destroy them.

Freelancer on January 2, 2007 at 3:15 PM

HE DOESN’T EXIST!

I recalled this story from way back

Seven Spanish agents killed in Iraq
( 2003-11-30 09:15) (Agencies)

Assailants ambushed a team of Spanish intelligence officers Saturday, killing seven agents in a bloody new attack on U.S. allies in Iraq. Two Japanese diplomats were shot to death in a separate attack.

One Spanish agent escaped the assault in Mahmudiyah, 18 miles south of Baghdad. Journalists arrived on the scene and said a small crowd chanted praise for ousted president Saddam Hussein and some even kicked at the bodies…

…In Baghdad, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the U.S. commander in Iraq, said some U.S.-trained Iraqi police and civilian informants appear to have conducted attacks on coalition targets.

“We try to do the vetting (of Iraqi employees) as close as we can,” Sanchez said at a news conference in Baghdad. But he added: “There have been instances when police were conducting attacks against the coalition and against the people.“

Maybe he does exist just that “Jamil Hussein” is one of the bad guys and the AP is concealing this equally scandalous information?

Topsecretk9 on January 2, 2007 at 3:21 PM

BOHICA:

Bend Over, Here It Comes Again!

budorob on January 2, 2007 at 3:25 PM

You rang?

BohicaTwentyTwo on January 2, 2007 at 3:36 PM

once a msm lib, always a msm lib..

robo on January 2, 2007 at 5:50 PM

Occam’s Razor applies:
The bet was for bloggers to actually make a trip to GO to Iraq and take a look-see.
Perhaps to avoid making a trip he don’t want to make, no how, no way, perhaps Jordan has decided to punt – by writing a highly critical article. The bloggers are satisfied and voila no trip to Iraq apparently necessary. End of issue.
Seems to be even a more compelling reason to fly in and drink some nice hot mint tea and schmooze a while with the locals. Maybe Jordan is concerned that he would not be welcome in Iraq and would feel rather uncomfortable going there, perhaps being perceived by Iraqis as having been a reliable shill for Saddam for years. Maybe if a blogger or two ended up in Iraq, he or she would get an earful, an earful of not only about the AP, but also about Jordan himself. Remember how complicated and nuanced it was for Jordan regarding the arrangements? Yeh. Uh, huh.

naliaka on January 3, 2007 at 10:56 AM

And yet, he’s going. Or so it seems to this point. No trust yet, but cautiously optimistic that he’ll be doing the right thing. Anyway, MM will call the fouls if he doesn’t.

Freelancer on January 3, 2007 at 7:45 PM