The Shoe Drops
During the summer of 2006, when the Islamic terrorist organization known as Hezbollah was reigning terror on innocent Israeli civilians with missiles supplied by Iran, there were many instances of fraudulent reports and photographs published by the Associated Press and Reuters – neither of which has any love for the Israelis.
These reports and photographs always tried to put the worst face possible on the attempts of the Israeli military to rescue their soldiers and stop the missile attacks. Apparently, as a result of these fake photos, someone decided to develop a blog that would focus on exposing this bias. That blogger and his blog, http://www.snappedshot.com/, has now been shut down by the threat of legal action by the Associated Press.
In support of this blogger, I am republishing below an article originally published in December, 2006:
Bored With Press Bias Stories? Read This!
The Associated Press used to be a highly respected wire service, and most American newspapers still subscribe to its services. Its extreme left-wing agenda, however, has so polluted its objectiveness that its news reports have become laughable; that is, they would be laughable if the daily damage the AP does to the truth was not so extreme. Many Americans were not even aware of the extent of the problem until this past summer when the AP began a flood of bogus reports portraying the Israelis as monsters and the Hezbollah as misunderstood heroes.
Over and over again both Reuters and the AP published stories and photographs that were later shown to be fake or staged. Inevitably these stories and photos always favored the Hezbollah and demonized the Israelis (see story). One incident was so egregious it is now referred to as the Cana (a town in Lebanon) fauxtography.
Now more recently and even more damaging to American interests, the AP has been exposed as having publicized several mass atrocities in Iraq that never happened – the most recent being the torching of six Iraqis with kerosene by other Iraqis. This report was submitted to the AP by a police official who does not seem to exist – now or ever. The problem is that this same non-person submitted a whole series of mass atrocity reports that were duly reported as true by the AP. How much there is of this misreporting of the admittedly bleak situation in Iraq is anyone’s guess. The AP is an organization that has a monopoly in the service it provides to almost all US newspapers. The first newspaper with the courage to cry ‘foul’ is the Boston Herald, and below is a story that appeared yesterday. You may notice that I have removed the link to the AP from my weblog.
Say no to AP’s shoddy work
By Jules Crittenden
Boston Herald City Editor
Sunday, December 3, 2006 - Updated: 02:46 AM EST
When a company defrauds its customers, or delivers shoddy goods, the customers sooner or later are going to take their business elsewhere. But if that company has a virtual monopoly, and offers something its customers must have, they may have no choice but to keep taking it.
That’s when the customers, en masse, need to raise a stink. That’s when someone else with the resources needs to seriously consider whether the time is ripe to compete.
The Associated Press is embroiled in a scandal. Conservative bloggers, the new media watchdogs, lifted a rock at the AP.
Curt at Floppingaces, www.floppingaces2.blogspot.com, led the charge. He thought there was something strange about an AP report, and took a second look at it, then a third look. He and others blew the lid off it. The AP is making up war crimes. But the resulting stink in the blogosphere has barely wrinkled a nose in the mainstream press. The ethics-obsessed Poynter Institute seems to be oblivious to it.
It has to do with the AP’s Iraqi stringers and an oft-quoted Iraqi police captain named Jamil Hussein. Problem is, the Iraqi police say Capt. Hussein does not exist. The Iraqi police and U.S. military say an incident described in an AP report - Iraqi soldiers standing by as people were burned alive in a mosque - didn’t happen. Another AP-reported incident, U.S. soldiers shooting 11 civilians, also never happened, the military says.
When the AP was forced to acknowledge this situation, it did so in a story about a new Interior Ministry policy regarding false reports. The AP buried the fact that its own false report prompted this new policy.
The AP stands by its reporting.. The AP has cast “Capt. Jamil Hussein” simply as someone not authorized to speak, and AP Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll has sniffed morally: “Good reporting relies on more than government-approved sources.”
The AP has another Iraqi stringer problem. Photographer Bilal Hussein is in U.S. custody, and the AP has been clamoring indignantly for his release. AP reports have buried the U.S. explanation that Hussein is being held without charge because - quite aside from producing photos that showed him to be overly intimate with terrorists in Fallujah - he was in an al-Qaeda bomb factory, with an al-Qaeda bombmaker, with traces of explosives on his person when he was arrested.
The AP, of course, has been delivering unbalanced reports about U.S. national politics for some time, as when President Bush, whom AP reporters despise, is barely allowed to state his case on an issue before his critics are given twice as much space to pummel him. The AP, once a just-the-facts news delivery service, has lost its rudder. It has become a partisan, anti-American news agency that seeks to undercut a wartime president and American soldiers in the field. It is providing fraudulent, shoddy goods. It doesn’t even recognize it has a problem.
This is the point at which, another big American industry learned, people start buying Japanese. But as an American newspaper, if you want to provide your readers with affordable regional, national and international news, you have to deal with the AP.
If newspapers don’t have an alternative, readers do. It’s called the Internet. That’s why newspapers, if they don’t want to be dragged further into irrelevance and disrepute, have to tell The Associated Press they are dissatisfied with its product.
Labels: Mainstream Media