Monday, November 27, 2006

More Media Fakery In Iraq Coverage?

Several days ago I posted on the questionable veracity of a Los Angeles Times article that reported an "U.S. air strike" on civilian homes in Ramadi killing 30 people, including "women and children". There appears to be zero evidence that such an attack actually took place.

Associated Press has now done them one better by not only citing an event that apparently didn't happen but actually quoting people by name who don't appear to exist, either.

The AP story begins,
Revenge-seeking Shiite militiamen seized six Sunnis as they left Friday prayers, drenched them with kerosene and burned them alive, and Iraqi soldiers did nothing to stop the attack, police and witnesses said . . .

. . . Police Capt. Jamil Hussein said Iraqi soldiers at a nearby army post failed to intervene in the burnings of Sunnis by suspected members of the Shiite Mahdi Army militia, or in subsequent attacks that torched four Sunni mosques and killed at least 19 other Sunnis, including women and children, in the same northwest Baghdad area.
CENTCOM (the US Command in Iraq) has sent the Associated Press a memo that begins,
Dear Associated Press:

On Nov. 24, 2006, your organization published an article by Qais Al-Bashir about six Sunnis being burned alive in the presence of Iraqi Police officers. This news item, which is below, received an enormous amount of coverage internationally.

We at Multi-National Corps - Iraq made it known through MNC-I Press Release Number 20061125-09 and our conversations with your reporters that neither we nor Baghdad Police had any reports of such an incident after investigating it and could find no one to corroborate the story. A couple of hours ago, we learned something else very important. We can tell you definitively that the primary source of this story, police Capt. Jamil Hussein, is not a Baghdad police officer or an MOI employee. We verified this fact with the MOI through the Coalition Police Assistance Training Team.
You can read the whole thing at Powerline.

I read the AP story in my local paper and was horrified by the level of violence it represented. But it now looks as if I was duped . . . again.

I guess that the word "news" is now to be defined as "What you read in the newspaper" rather than necessarily having anything to do with reality.

I might as well be subscribing to Fantasy & Science Fiction magazine for my "news."