No no no, of course they didn’t. I’m being sarcastic to mark this, the fifth day since the boss broke the news about the AP’s bogus “torched” mosques report and the fifth day that E&P, whose interest in the story seemed so fervent when facts favorable to the AP emerged, has conspicuously failed to report it. The most recent search result for “malkin” at the E&P website is this story written by Greg Mitchell himself about Tony Snow’s interview with Hugh Hewitt. You can almost hear the sneer:
Seeking a sympathic audience yesterday, Snow visited conservative radio talker Hugh Hewitt, referring to him as a “friend.” He felt so relaxed in that setting that he went after media coverage of the war far harder than he would in the White House briefing room, and suggested that perhaps Michelle Malkin, now in Baghdad, might help save the day.
She didn’t save the day. She merely risked her own neck to determine whether the AP’s story about the destruction of four mosques by Shiite militias was true. It wasn’t. And odds are very, very good you’ll never see that fact reported in “the bible of the newspaper industry.”
E&P does have a story up today about the AP — namely, their scoop regarding the abduction of U.S. troops in Karbala, which contradicts earlier reports by the military. I blogged that one, too. Now I’m going to blog two more AP-related stories: Charles Johnson catching the AP politely declining to call a Hezbollah terrorist a terrorist, and Charles Johnson catching the AP very quietly backing away from its earlier reports about the two American contractors killed in the helicopter crash having been executed. No clarification or retraction, of course; aside from Reuters, that’s not how the big fish deal with their mistakes.
Exit question: We know E&P won’t mention the first of Charles’s catches since, almost certainly, they don’t consider Hezbollah “terrorists” either. Will they mention the second?
Update: It’s 1:56 ET as I write this. Who wants to bet me that this will be featured somewhere on E&P’s site before the day is through?
Update: I had trouble getting through to that Statesman page a second time, so here’s the text. The author is blogosphere fave Col. Austin Bay:
A columnist’s mea culpa
In a column that ran in the American-Statesman on Dec. 1, I wrote that I doubted that an Associated Press source for a story originating in Baghdad existed. The story involved an allegation that six Sunni Arabs were murdered and set on fire. It turns out the AP source not only existed but had a two-year track record. The AP answered the questions raised on the two Web sites my column quoted. The Iraqi Ministry of Interior later admitted that police Capt. Jamil Hussein did work for the ministry in Baghdad.
The AP and other wire services are the backbone of truth on this planet. “New media” such as blogs still lack the reporting capacity of the wire services and major news operations. I am delighted to apologize to the Associated Press and congratulate the AP’s Baghdad bureau for standing by their sources.
— Austin Bay
Emphasis mine. There’s no shame in apologizing here; I did it myself and was even quoted on it by E&P, as you’ll see if you follow the very first link in this post. But to call the AP the “backbone of truth on this planet” when they’ve gotten key facts wrong in this very story is embarrassing. I admire Col. Bay and respect his writing, but he’s way off base here.