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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Is it the Story or the Credibility that is at Issue?

The AP situation, much like the issue Reuters had to deal with the doctored photos is not about denying the bad that is being reported, it is about demanding credible reports from those that are in the MSM.

Jamil Hussein is simply a symptom of a cancer that is eating away at the AP's and other MSM outlets credibility.

People that wants to close their eyes to this and make snide comments about "right wing bloggers" making a big deal out of one story need to realize that we are talking about 61 stories which Curt at Flopping Aces has kindly listed here and those are simply stories citing one specific source, a man that nobody can find, that does not hold the rank or position that AP claimed and continues to claim and that the AP cannot verify that he even exists.

Jamil Hussein doesn't really mean as much as the larger picture, but he is one example of proving or disproving the "reliabilty" of the AP.... and it would have been all over had the AP originally not claimed that 4 mosques were burned, then later WITHOUT correcting nor retracting the original statement, reported that one mosque had been burned., if they would have followed up on their report saying the morgue could verify their story, which in fact the morgue cannot, if they could have produced even ONE family member of the alleged "victims, which they cannot, if ONE othernews outlet could verify their original story, which even THEY have changed. So on and so forth.

If their report could ANSWER questions instead of simply creating them, perhaps none of this would have come to light.

No bodies, the wrong figures on the mosques, no witnesses that can verify the story and NO OTHER NEWS OUTLET that can confirm the story, in fact, to go a step further, EdWong, from the New York Times, who was there could not confirm the story either.

As I stated in "AP Stands by the Fake Capt Jamil":

A little note for Kathleen Carroll, the executive editor for the AP... it isn't just the bloggers that are calling you out, the New York Post, Boston Herald, the Examiner, plus they have a commentary on it and this is just the beginning. The days of you feeding us lies without having your facts checked, are over.

That is a small sample of the attention this is getting and continues to get... why?? Why the big fuss over this one source, this one story? Because unlike Reuters who fired the photographer that doctored the Lebanon photos and then apologized... The AP thinks they are above having to admit to their mistakes... if they had, after all the proof contrary to what they reported, this would have been over and the subject gone... people still would have fact checked, but they should do that anyway, because reporters ARE only human and will make mistakes.

Whether they are honest mistakes or not is another question.

Now Michelle Malkin points out a few things:

Let's review: AP's source, supposedly named "Jamil Gholaiem Hussein," used to work at Yarmouk but now works at al Khadra. CPATT says the one person named "Jamil" now at al Khadra -- Jamil Ghdaab Gulaim -- also used to work at Yarmouk. His rank is the same as that of AP's alleged source. His last name is almost identical to the middle name of AP's alleged source. (FYI: In Arabic, the middle name is one's father's name; the last name is one's grandfather's.)

According to the CPATT officers, Captain Jamil Ghdaab Gulaim "denies ever speaking to the AP or any other media." I retracted information to the contrary two days ago based on a single CPATT source who said he had erroneously stated that Gulaim had admitted being the source.

To repeat: Both CPATT sources in the U.S. and Iraq have confirmed that Jamil Ghdaab Gulaim denies speaking to the AP.

That leaves a couple of unanswered questions:

1. Is Jamil Ghdaab Gulaim the real name of AP's oft-cited source?

2. If not, where is "Captain Jamil Hussein" currently working?If he is a Baghdad police officer, as AP asserts, why hasn't anyone--not CPATT, not MOI, not Marc Danzinger's sources--been able to locate him?

I'll be sending these questions to AP executive editor Kathleen Carroll.She might also want to take a look at Bob Owens' thorough post exploring the ethics of using undisclosed pseudonyms for sources. He surveyed journalists and media mavens from all parts of the ideological spectrum with these three questions:
If it is determined that a reporter has been using named source in an on-going series of stories, and that name turns out to be a pseudonym, under what circumstances would this be considered unethical behavior, and how serious a breach of ethics would this be? Would it be compounded if the reporter insisted upon the veracity of the pseudonym?

What responsibility does the reporter bear in verifying the identity of his source?<

Ms. Carroll might want to think about her answers.

Read the whole thing over at Malkin's site.

Let us not be mistaken about this, no one is trying to say that Iraq is violence free and all the stories are made up... the point which I have shown on a consistent basis, is the major news outlets continue to completely ignore ANY good news, progress or successes coming from Iraq and ONLY focusing on the bad news. Media should be objective and unbiased, sadly, AP is neither.

I saw a comment on one of the sites as I went though this story a few weeks ago and it stuck in my head. The commenter said: "I don't care if they are lies as long as they help get us out of Iraq"

That is wrong.

I have never criticized the MSM for reporting the bad news, it needs to be told, objectively and in conjunction with the good news. You cannot be a reliable trustworthy source if you are only going to tell half the truth.

THAT is the point and the fuss over the non-existent Capt. Hussein.

Which brings me to the differences I am seeing from the blogs on the left side of the blogosphere and the blogs on the right.

Those on the right are perfetly blunt in admitting that there are MANY true stories, bad news, coming from Iraq and are insisting on only one thing...the truth, bad AND good and objectivity from those reporting the news.

The left side of the blogosphere will not bring themselves to admit that some of what they are being fed is FALSE, they deny and attack, instead of demanding the truth along with the right.

This should be an issue that the left and the right agree on and work together to fix.... but when one person denies the truth, even when it is staring them in the face, they cannot be worked with.

So, the question really should not be, who is Jamil Hussein? The question should be, when will the media be held to the standards they are supposed to uphold? When will people insist on hearing every detail, and not just the news that they "want" to hear?

Also those that just wish to make snide comments about all bloggers, also does not understand that in this day and age of the internet, blogs are a way of getting an opinion "out there" in a way that no other means or method can accomplishand more importantly, it is a way to fact check those that should have fact checked themselves originally.

I would ALSO remind the writer of the FACT that it was a blog (LGF) that caught the doctored photos from Reuters that led to the photographer being fired and Reuters pulling ALL his pictures.

[UPDATE] Hot Air has more on this.

Others discussing this can be found here and here.

To see all previous posts on this issue all on one page, click here.