Shameless AP journalistic crime of the day; Update: AP changes headline

posted at 6:56 pm on January 24, 2007 by Bryan

A reader sent in the link to this story. I had to rub my eyes when I read the headline:

ap

What does that headline make you think? That American troops are fighting against Iraqi troops, right? That the very army we’re training to take on the terrorists and insurgents has turned on us. That’s the plain meaning of that headline.

But that’s not what’s going on, at all.

U.S. and Iraqi troops battled Sunni insurgents hiding in high-rise buildings on Haifa Street in the heart of Baghdad Wednesday, with snipers on roofs taking aim at gunmen in open windows as Apache attack helicopters hovered overhead.

Iraq said 30 militants were killed and 27 captured.

US and Iraqi troops did not “clash in Baghdad.” They fought side by side against Sunni insurgents. Some variant of that should be the headline, with a subhead that the allied troops killed a whole bunch of bad guys.

There’s no excuse for this, AP. That headline is a blatant manipulation of words to create a false picture of events in Iraq. Their choice of photo and caption is real even-handed, too.

I have to say, I no longer trust a single word the AP reports from Iraq. Not. One. Word. I’ve been there. The AP’s methods and its overt bias call into doubt every single story it has published from Iraq since the war began. Its entire method of operation over there is fatally flawed, and it’s clear that the editors outside the country are just waiting to paint every single event as a disaster for our troops. They’ll even write up lies in their headlines to do it.

If FDR were president today, he’d kick the AP out of Iraq and shut them down for broadcasting propaganda for the enemy.

Update: There’s more to the story. Note the byline. Kim Gamel. Who’s that? Why, none other than…

NEW YORK – Kim Gamel, a veteran correspondent and editor for The Associated Press, has been appointed to the new position of news editor in Baghdad.

She’s the news editor in Baghdad. Which means she probably wrote that devious headline, knowing full well that it didn’t match the story at all. A reputable news organization would fire her for incompetence, but we’re talking about the AP here so she can probably expect a bonus in her next check. Employee of the Month can’t be far behind that.

Thanks to the TexasRainmaker for the catch.

Update (AP): Here’s how the headline reads three hours later.

ap.png


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I also love the caption of the photo….

Blindfolded people are detained at the side of the road…

Well…if some blindfolded people were walking down the road I would detain them also.

AP,CNN,networks, all the same. Making stories makes more money then reporting on stories.

Limerick on January 24, 2007 at 7:04 PM

making up….(Im just as bad as AP…..Texas schools, u-kno)

Limerick on January 24, 2007 at 7:05 PM

Betcha nothing happens.

Mazztek on January 24, 2007 at 7:13 PM

I heard a rumor. Is it true that some public schools no longer teach students how to diagram a sentence? Perhaps the editors at AP simply fail to grasp the concept that the verb “clash” describes US and Iraqi troops. My grammar certainly is not perfect, especially when quickly typing on the web, but all you have to do is read the first sentence to realize that whoever came up with the title is an idiot.

Resolute on January 24, 2007 at 7:16 PM

It is what it is.

Someday, when they’re short on hostages, that embedded AP reporter with the “Freedom Fighters”, might start to look like a tasty treat for ransom…

… and I’ll give a little giggle at the sweet justice. Right before I forget the twerp ever existed.

Ringmaster on January 24, 2007 at 7:22 PM

Unbelievable.

Whatever happened to “just the facts, maam”?

BacaDog on January 24, 2007 at 7:34 PM

If FDR were president today, he’d kick the AP out of Iraq and shut them down for broadcasting propaganda for the enemy.

If Lincoln were president, he would make sure they ended up on enemy hands.

Valiant on January 24, 2007 at 7:53 PM

I haven’t read an AP story in quite awhile, having made my decision that they’re a bunch of lying skanks.

But look, what’s that? Most of FOX News’ web site carries AP bylines in their stories… How’s that helping?

Most of my local newsrag is also heavily populated with AP bylines, hence why I don’t subscribe anymore.

Look around you folks, they’re Everywhere, They’re EVERYWHERE!

TheSev on January 24, 2007 at 7:59 PM

You forget that news like the AP argues that they want to be seen as “not taking sides” so they can more fairly report what is going on.

Which means that to keep on the terrorists good side they have to print their filth to maintain “balance”

William Amos on January 24, 2007 at 8:11 PM

Science fiction writers are more realistic than the AP.

infidel on January 24, 2007 at 8:16 PM

I’m gonna have to start reading The National Enquirer for my news source>

sonnyspats1 on January 24, 2007 at 8:20 PM

I emailed this story to the folks at Fox’s NewsWatch program. I just want to see what that bozo Neal Gabler has to say in defense of AP on this one. This expose of APs bias deserves national attention indeed.

auzerais on January 24, 2007 at 8:28 PM

Interesting. Kim Gamel’s actually better that some of them, since she was willing to check on some of Jamil Hussein’s claims.

see-dubya on January 24, 2007 at 8:32 PM

BTW, I’m not so sure that a managing editor would be writing headlines. Could be a copy editor, like Dawn Eden was for the Post.

see-dubya on January 24, 2007 at 8:36 PM

If FDR were president today, he’d kick the AP out of Iraq and shut them down for broadcasting propaganda for the enemy.

For the life of me, I can’t figure out why the Bush Administration won’t do this when it’s as apparent as the nose on our faces that this type of false reporting aids our enemies.

The mind boggles then reels…

CliffHanger on January 24, 2007 at 8:39 PM

BTW, I’m not so sure that a managing editor would be writing headlines. Could be a copy editor, like Dawn Eden was for the Post.

see-dubya on January 24, 2007 at 8:36 PM

No matter, whoever the dim-wit is who wrote this, the headline would make the headmaster at Moscow’s “charm school” very proud. That garbage is reminiscent of 1960′s Soviet propaganda!!!

Zorro on January 24, 2007 at 8:55 PM

Bryan, take it easy my friend. I don’t think there was anything malicious with this headline. The drive-bys, everyday make these kinds of mistakes. They are incompetent, they are morons. We all know they are embedded with the cult of liberalism. But another fact becoming obvious is that they are also very stupid and lazy. Well, you know what they’ve always said about govt. work, that now can be said of drive-by journalists….

But I don’t blame you Bryan, it is shameful and all too common for the AP……………..

ritethinker on January 24, 2007 at 9:04 PM

Unfortunately, our weak leader is the only one who can punish them; the rest of us can only suffer rising blood pressure over it.

This would be the perfect incident for Bush to suspend AP’s press credentials at the White House for a while. I would love to see their reaction and the entire media reaction if that happened.

Perchant on January 24, 2007 at 9:08 PM

The headline isn’t an indication of bias. It’s an indication of illiteracy.

cmay on January 24, 2007 at 10:04 PM

Okay, so they are both biased and illiterate.

The Machine on January 24, 2007 at 10:32 PM

AP or Kimmy are still trying to figure out what to call it. If you click on the link in the update, it now takes you to the story, undated 17 minutes ago, with the headline:

U.S., Iraqi troops kill 30 militants

…not sure if they changed anything other than the headline.

One does wonder if they did change anything else in the story…not that they would let their readers know.

I cannot imagine why anyone who might buy product from them would continue to do so. Their credibility is non-existent.

91Veteran on January 24, 2007 at 11:08 PM

Sorry, should have said “updated” 17 minutes ago.

If AP is following this on Hotair, perhaps they can respond in detail on Jamil Hussein.

91Veteran on January 24, 2007 at 11:10 PM

Betcha nothing happens,

Well… whatdya know?

Mazztek on January 24, 2007 at 11:18 PM

It wasn’t a mistake, it’s about creating the perception that we are in a war against the country of Iraq rather than at war against jihadis in Iraq.

Their propaganda works well and it has for years. In Vietnam, we were allied with the people and the government of Vietnam against a communist invasion but the perception the media created is that we were at war against Vietnam. If you sympathize with communists, you simply assert them as the rightful inhabitants and define any military action against them as a military action against the nation as a whole. Works the same for jihadis who AP sees as the rightful inhabitants of Iraq.

Perchant on January 24, 2007 at 11:44 PM

As of 11pm CST, I still see
AP
U.S., Iraqi troops clash in Baghdad
. There must be multiple articles, since Allah’s article has a different headline (which has become “U.S., Iraqi troops kill 30 militants” now).

Kevin M on January 25, 2007 at 12:13 AM

Headlines. Simply the worst thing about media bias is the idiotic headlines and captions. It’s like reporting is just a prerequisite for writing what ever you want.

Buck Turgidson on January 25, 2007 at 12:46 AM

Now, or 31 min. ago, it reads

U.S., Iraqi troops kill 30 militants By KIM GAMEL, Associated Press Writer
31 minutes ago

AP is just being flexible; first they were confused, then they focused on insurgents, who later morfed into militants. It’s all nuance of the trade and we just don’t get it, dunces that we are…

Entelechy on January 25, 2007 at 2:33 AM

I’m glad, very glad, that now you know this

I have to say, I no longer trust a single word the AP reports from Iraq. Not. One. Word. I’ve been there. The AP’s methods and its overt bias call into doubt every single story it has published from Iraq since the war began. Its entire method of operation over there is fatally flawed, and it’s clear that the editors outside the country are just waiting to paint every single event as a disaster for our troops. They’ll even write up lies in their headlines to do it.

I ain’t braggin’ and I ain’t all that smart, but I knew it a long long time ago.

This IS a war and they ARE on the other side, and all of you reading this know what that makes the Asswipe Press

…yes, the e-word

Janos Hunyadi on January 25, 2007 at 3:05 AM

My post vanished into the e-ether because I called the AP the A**wipe Press, with the actual letters.

It ain’t right to stifle Obvious Truths, Bryan

Janos Hunyadi on January 25, 2007 at 3:33 AM

“I have to say, I no longer trust a single word the AP reports from Iraq. Not. One. Word.”

Me neither.

It has been apparent to me for a long time that the AP (which feeds most of America’s newspapers and even the networks) deliberately lies.

georgej on January 25, 2007 at 4:07 AM

Imagine, before the internet and blogs, the amount of mis-information fed to us. No wonder there are so many liberals. You feed weak minded people this garbarge over the years and that is all they know.

right2bright on January 25, 2007 at 9:00 AM

I have to say, I no longer trust a single word the AP reports from Iraq. Not. One. Word. I’ve been there.

Now you see why most soldiers HATE the media. I talked to a infantry grunt who escorted a CNN reporter when we were in Iraq in ’05-’06. She kept asking the locals “How do you feel about the Americans?”… positive response. She wasn’t happy… “Now that you have no electricity How do you feel about the American’s in Iraq?”… again, positive response… she STILL wasn’t happy. She kept asking the same question 10x, different ways until she got a moderatively negative answer and ran with that. Those poor soldiers just sat there shaking their heads.

After my second tour there, I am convinced the MSM is incompetent or biased or both. If it’s not Bill Roggio or Michael Yon…it’s probably bullshit.

BadBrad on January 25, 2007 at 9:22 AM

If FDR were president today, he’d kick the AP out of Iraq and shut them down for broadcasting propaganda for the enemy.

Well, maybe not. If FDR were President this would have been over long ago. He would have let the troops fight. He would have backed out troops not court martial them. Do you think General Eisenhower had to call FDR to get permission to take a dump?

This country is unable to win any more wars. If Bush gave the orders to go in there, kick ass, throw out the media and win this thing, could his popularity drop any further? What is he worried about?

Wade on January 25, 2007 at 10:47 AM

He would have backed out troops not court martial them

me bad. should have read “He would have backed OUR troops not court martial them”

Wade on January 25, 2007 at 10:50 AM

A little contextual historical trivia:

During the Civil War, the Union Army’s efforts were also plagued by ignorant reporters blabbing anything and everything they could. Military secrecy was almost impossible.

In fact, Rebel President Davis and Gen. Robert E. Lee had all the major northern newspapers regularly delivered to them, for analysis and intelligence purposes. It was that bad.

Instead of today’s anti-America, anti-Bush New York Times, Lincoln and the military had Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Herald. Greeley wanted to end the Civil War by defacto recognizing the independence of the Rebel states. An appeasing defeatist, in other words. “Wayward Sisters, Depart in Peace” was his famous headline when the Rebel Congress met. His constant attacks and vilification of Lincoln throughout the war were every bit as nasty as the attacks on George Bush.

(Does all this sound vaguely familiar?)

The situation became so bad that when Gen. William T. Sherman was made Commander of the Western Army, he threw out all the reporters from his headquarters. He considered their incessant rabid, ignorant critiquing and blabbing of military secrets as treasonous. Lacking arrest and prosecution powers, he did the next best thing and kicked them all out of the Army Headquarters. My personal guess is that this security measure is what made possible his successful Georgia campaign, the capture of Atlanta and the subsequent March to the Sea, culminating in the capture of Savannah.

(Another fascinating subject for another post: the Civil War Copperhead Democrats, then the Party of Treason. Plus ca change…)

DavePa on January 25, 2007 at 12:14 PM