Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Production Values

Is it really that difficult for AP to produce the source for nearly 60 AP wire stories, one 'Captain' Jamil Hussein? Demands for AP to do so have continued to come in - from Curt at Flopping Aces who broke the story in the first place to Mark Tapscott, Confederate Yankee, to yours truly (and here).

The way I see it, for AP to be incapable of providing Hussein for questioning shows that they are in a serious bind. No other news agencies have been able to track him down, and there's good reason to believe he doesn't even exist - at least he isn't a captain in the police force, and certainly isn't part of the Iraqi Interior Ministry.

Blue Crab Boulevard notes that this scandal - and it is a scandal - has disasterous consequences beyond the AP. The AP doesn't seem to think that the criticisms are merited, or that there is anything wrong with their reporting. In that respect, they're taking a page from the stonewalling CBS News department that hemmed and hawed when confronted with evidence showing that their Bush memos were a fraud and could not be authenticated.

Again, where are other newspapers and media outlets demanding answers on this story? The newspapers and media outlets are the primary customer of the AP, and yet they're curiously silent on authenticating news stories that ran in their papers and on their television networks. A few voices are questioning the reporting, including Tom Zeller at the Times, but even there he can't get away from snarking about the intentions of bloggers - as though getting to the truth and discerning the facts swirling around the alleged incident are not sufficient.

US News and World Reports posted a squib on the Jamil Hussein/AP story but doesn't advance the story with new reporting.

Others blogging: Wake Up America, Bill Hobbs, The End Zone, Rob Port, Power Line, and The Jawa Report.

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