Confederate Yankee came up with the novel idea that AP (and really all reporters) require that the stringers in Iraq carry disposable cameras. If a mosque was torched, the photographic evidence should be easy enough to confirm.
Just think... how much credibility could have been saved if the Associated Press stringers had access to such technology on any of their first three trips into the neighborhood to cover this story?Meanwhile, Michelle Malkin is taking Eason Jordan (yes, that Eason Jordan) up on an offer to head over to Iraq to do some reporting on Jamil Hussein from Iraq on Eason's dime as he's started up a new 'news' venture called Iraqslogger.com.
Instead, we have a "he said, she said," stalemate where the AP claims these four mosques were rocketed, machine gunned, burned, and blown up, and coalition forces instead insist that only one mosque suffered though any attack at all, and that was a minor fire put out by the local fire department.
If these mosques are indeed intact, the first person to snap four pictures of the Ahbab al-Mustafa, Nidaa Allah, al-Muhaimin and al-Qaqaqa mosques intact will have wrecked the reputation of the world's largest news organization for $3.75.
An empowering thing, technology.
Who is Jamil Hussein? Michelle Malkin is leading the charge for an answer, and she put that question to me in her blog. The AP is in the midst of a public firestorm regarding whether supposed Iraqi police captain Jamil Hussein actually exists and, if so, whether he was a legitimate news source for a disputed November 24 AP-reported story saying Shia thugs in Baghdad "grabbed six Sunnis as they left Friday worship services, doused them with kerosene and burned them alive near Iraqi soldiers who did not intervene." The U.S. military, the Iraqi government, and many others insisted the AP story was false and that Jamil Hussein either was fictitious or was not an Iraqi police officer, as asserted in the AP's report. The AP has issued two strong statements defending its initial report and produced fresh statements from witnesses of the alleged crime, but the AP has not produced Jamil Hussein himself.It's interesting to note that Eason still is getting basic facts wrong as Malkin wasn't the first to raise alarm bells on Jamil Hussein, but rather Curt at Flopping Aces.Malkin has written to try and get Jordan to pick up Curt's tab to head to Iraq to track down Hussein.
So the search for Jamil Hussein is on, and rightly so. IraqSlogger's team in Baghdad is working to track him down. If we find him, we'll get back to you with details. If we can't find him, we'll report that, too. If Michelle Malkin wants to join the search in Baghdad, IraqSlogger will pay for her trip, and I'd even be willing to accompany her. Stay tuned.
Yet, one has to admit that Eason Jordan appears to have the right idea by going to actually verify facts that AP claims on its say-so. That contrasts starkly with Jordan's previous efforts at news gathering.
Some others commenting on Jordan's latest venture include Ed Morrissey and Charles at LGF who is simply incredulous at this turn of events. After all, Jordan willingly let CNN's reporting from Iraq be coopted by Saddam Hussein in order to gain access to the country. Its reporting thereafter was skewed by the deal Eason Jordan struck with the Iraqis, much to the detriment of the fact and news gathering from Iraq.
Jordan has agreed to pay Curt's way to Iraq as well to investigate the situation on the ground.
Hot Air wonders if Eason Jordan realizes what he's done. Malkin has been quite criticial of Jordan's past indiscretions relating to CNN's operations in Iraq, and then Jordan's repeated unsubstantiated comments about how US soldiers were targeting and killing journalists. Did he think that Malkin would pass on the opportunity?
Others noting Eason Jordan's offer and what it means for Malkin, Curt at Flopping Aces, and the AP: Don Surber, Sister Toldjah, Powerline, Blue Crab Boulevard, Dan Riehl, Patterico, and Blackfive.
Don Surber notes a speech given by Reuters about the Adnan Hajj incident. Lesson to AP: if you cannot produce Jamil Hussein, fire all the reporters and editors involved in the process (in other words, the entire Baghdad bureau).
Leave it to the usual suspects to hope for ill winds to strike Malkin in Iraq. And they're already claiming that someone might take the comments the wrong way because the reader might be humor or irony impaired. Yes, that's the ticket. Humor and irony impaired. I don't see much humor on hoping something bad happens. Besides, if you wanted to make a crack about security, pick on Newark (much higher murder rate than Philly).
Curt at Flopping Aces expresses concern that this may be part of a setup; gotcha journalism designed to take down Malkin and others. Hot Air notes this as well.
Those who think that Jordan isn't above gotcha journalism haven't been paying attention. Then again, if Malkin and Curt don't take him up on the offer, they will be cast as the bad guys in all this. It's a no win situation for them under this scenario. Frankly, I think it is still a good opportunity to get the lay of the land and see firsthand what is going on in Iraq beyond the Green Zone in Baghdad. A drive-by of the mosques that were supposedly destroyed by arson should be on the itiniary, though considering Jordan has people in Iraq, this should have been determined one way or the other by now.