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.
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?