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.
Crittenden also has some sound advice for MSM-criticizing bloggers at his own excellent blog.UPDATE: AP continues to "stand by our reporting," and claims they have "proof" including photos. But despite several days having gone by, no photos have been released. No bodies have been found or reported. No new graves, no funeral processions. No burnt homes. And no Captain Jamil Hussein has appeared. What is known--a Molotov or something similar was lobbed at the door of the al-Hurriya mosque, which caught fire, which fire was quickly extinguished. THAT'S IT. The whole thing. Out of which came the AP's "we stand by our reporting" tale of four mosques attacked with rockets, numerous homes torched, dozens dead, and several Sunnis forced to stand, be drenched with kerosene, and torched one by one. And it never happened. That's the level of factual reporting we get from the Associated Press out of Iraq.