Last night I highlighted an AP headline that, by a plain reading, cast US and Iraqi Army troops as fighting each other on the streets of Baghdad. The story, though, had US and Iraqi troops fighting side-by-side against insurgents and taking out lots of bad guys–together. On the same team. Gung ho and all that.

Within a few hours, it appeared that the AP had walked that headline back to something more innocuous, and indeed in a version of the story it had.

But that story, like all lurid AP reports from Iraq, got picked up all over the world. Take a look at this Google News search:

ap2

Note that some newspapers altered the headline to make it more accurate–they inserted phrases like “US, Iraqi troops clash with insurgents in Baghdad,” things like that. But most didn’t.

This is how the AP is intentionally distorting our knowledge of what’s going on in Iraq. By the time the AP gets around to correcting the headline–if they ever do–the story has already run its course and headline skimmers around the world have been lied to.

That’s apparently just fine with the layers of fact checkers and editors at the Associated (with falsehoods) Press.

(thanks to BizzyBlog for the catch)