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

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


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.