« Who Will Be The First? | Main | Pope Hospitalized... »

This Was No Rookie Mistake

A couple notes about today's colossal AP blunder.

First this was no rookie mistake. The sole reporter on this story - AP correspondent Robert H. Reid - is a former AP bureau chief (Cairo and Manila) and has been reporting on Iraq since 2002. As a reporter, he has covered the fall of the Shah of Iran, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Iran-Iraq war, and the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Second the location where the image and statement were posted is an Arabic language bulletin board that has seen its share of jihadist propaganda. I doubt that this was a "teenage prank," as some have speculated.

Third, the story arc in this instance is different from previous kidnapping that bubbled up into the mainstream press. This story appeared first on the AP wires rather than many of the sites that normally break this kind of story. Many reports don't survive the bubble up process from bulletin boards; to specialty intelligence monitoring sites; to blogs or second tier media site; and finally to the networks and wires. This report appears to have been rushed as a "scoop."

Robert H. Reid and the editors at AP have some serious explaining to do.


TrackBack

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference This Was No Rookie Mistake:

» The Unknown Blogger linked with The Plastic Ones Don't Fight Back

» The Age Of Reason linked with The Mainstream Media Trusts Islamofascists

Comments (25)

As Rather would say, just b... (Below threshold)
Russ:

As Rather would say, just because it's not a real picture of a hostage, doesn't mean that there is no hostage.

Does make me wonder if but ... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Does make me wonder if but what Robert H. Reid has a special collection of dolls, you know.

That is, this just may be t... (Below threshold)
-S-:

That is, this just may be the newer, bigger, more plastic rendition of Jason Blaire.

Check out this article by ... (Below threshold)
cj:

Check out this article by the AP (per yahoo news)
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=514&e=16&u=/ap/20050202/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq_soldier

They are doing their damnedest to justify their original reporting of their "story," i.e., the validity of the website, the previous taking of hostages by terrorists.

Not expecting them to admit it, but hope to hell they've learned their lesson -- verify, verify, verify.

I mean, geez, I'm no photoshop wiz, but even *I* could tell there was something fishy with the pic.

Unfortunately, I think we're going to see the MSM come down on the side of regulating the blogosphere because of incidents like this (see recent Patterico post). So much for the days when they sided with the Larry Flints of the world to protect free speech.

Who ever was behind the pra... (Below threshold)
julie:

Who ever was behind the prank, didn't they realized it would be discovered almost immediately?

Sorry, but in case the orig... (Below threshold)
cj:

Sorry, but in case the original link didn't work, I can't resist quoting these "justifications" from the AP article:

The statement appeared on a Web site where militants' statements are often posted and was in the name of a group that has claimed previous kidnappings, the Mujahedeen Brigades.

It was never sold in the United States but is traded on line among collectors, sometimes to use in highly realistic dioramas, he said.

The Mujahedeen Brigades claimed responsibility for the April abduction of three Japanese, who were released, and of a Brazilian engineer who is missing since last month.

More than 180 foreigners have been kidnapped in the past year. At least 10, including three American civilians, remain in the hands of their kidnappers, and more than 30 have been killed.

The only American soldier known to have been taken hostage is Pfc. Keith M. Maupin, who was shown in a video in April being held by militants. A later video purported to show his slaying, but it could not be confirmed and the military still lists him as missing.

If proven a fake, Tuesday's posting would not be the first hoax associated with kidnappings in Iraq (news - web sites ). In August, television stations around the world showed a video in which a 22-year-old San Francisco man faked his own beheading by Iraqi militants.

he Mujahedeen Brigades claimed responsibility for the April abduction of three Japanese, who were released, and of a Brazilian engineer who is missing since last month.

More than 180 foreigners have been kidnapped in the past year. At least 10, including three American civilians, remain in the hands of their kidnappers, and more than 30 have been killed.

The only American soldier known to have been taken hostage is Pfc. Keith M. Maupin, who was shown in a video in April being held by militants. A later video purported to show his slaying, but it could not be confirmed and the military still lists him as missing.

If proven a fake, Tuesday's posting would not be the first hoax associated with kidnappings in Iraq (news - web sites ). In August, television stations around the world showed a video in which a 22-year-old San Francisco man faked his own beheading by Iraqi militants.

Yeah, like julie writes her... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Yeah, like julie writes here, the fakery bears a nearly intentional falseness about it; I'm surprised they didn't include a splash of ketchup or someone's actual-size thumb in the frame, as in taunting to be discovered as staged, not that the original photo doesn't.

I also don't believe this i... (Below threshold)
McCain:

I also don't believe this is a teenage prank. What the hell teenager would know about an Islamic language website in the dark corner of the earth. Not mine.

It could be the good old US military having some fun, or the terrorists getting pathetically desperate. I hope for the latter, but suspect the former.

I don't know whether the pi... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

I don't know whether the pictures itself was a prank, but I think the MSM's desire for a big story and a big scoop clowded their judgement on this one. It is the nature of the media to want to cover the bad news, and a real kidnapping of a US soldier would definitely be just the "bad" news some in the MSM would want to clowd the news from the election.

cj: What a bunch of whiney... (Below threshold)
julie:

cj: What a bunch of whiney bastards!

-S-: That's the weird part, it's too fake.

McCain: You don't think someone a bit older or hackers could have found such a website? I don't think military would do it. I would hope not! As corny as it is, it's sort of sick to scare anyone with family over there needlessly.

I don't know whether the... (Below threshold)
julie:

I don't know whether the pictures itself was a prank, but I think the MSM's desire for a big story and a big scoop clowded their judgement on this one.

cough, cough, memogate. Fool you once, shame on you! Fool you twice, you're a real bunch of dumbasses, msm!

As recently as 12:15 am EST... (Below threshold)
Retread:

As recently as 12:15 am EST CNN Headline News was reporting it with a straight face, saying that the photo was possibly fake. Sounds like they are as reluctant to admit they were fooled as Document Dan was.

Julie, I am getting a huge ... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Julie, I am getting a huge kick out of considering that a couple of fed-up GIs with Photoshop had a little fun on this Islamic website. How would they know that the story would spread like the plague? One can only hope.

But the devious military connection, undoubtedly already propogating ont he DailyKos, would be a deliberate effort by military intelligence to dishearten the enemy. But naaah, that would make too much sense.

Well, folks, this IS an AP ... (Below threshold)
OneDrummer:

Well, folks, this IS an AP story, right? Hmm... booing was probably heard by the reporter as well, perhaps?

Heh.

What it all comes down to ... (Below threshold)
mesablue:

What it all comes down to though is, that no matter the source-- this was so obviously a fake. The goofball (Robert Reid) bought into it. Didn't take a close look at it as any child could (my son saw it and said, gee dad, why are you laughing at a GI Joe?) and pushed it out for mass consumption.

This is horrible, yet it will disappear in a day or two. Even though it is the perfect example of what is wrong with the people that most of America trust for their news.

I'd love to find a way to make this story live for a few months, or hopefully years, to remind the asshats of their credibility.

But, I'm sure that they will give us many more opportunities.

Today was the most fun that I've had in a while watching the MSM fall on their face for a few hours. I was laughing so hard that it hurt. Wizbang was on the spot, the response and instantly creative alternative pictures to 'Cody' from the minions were just hysterical.

You guys are great, long live Wizbang and all like them.

When I meet my old Force Recon buddies we like to cheer ourselves with, "here's to us and those like us".

Well, here's to you and all like you.

I'm waiting for the first K... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

I'm waiting for the first Karl-Rove-behind-the-scenes mention by the moonbats.

...two, three, four....

C'mon guys. You're slipping!

Obviously, a GI Joe hoax would be perpetrated by a puppet regime.

::::cough, cough, cough:::

Another Rathergate attempt ... (Below threshold)
Rod Stanton:

Another Rathergate attempt to shift the focus. This time away from the success of the war on terror as opposed to from JFK's real Nam record. Like Rathergate the net proved it to be false in less than a day. Thank God for the net and gor our "dumb, stubborn" President.

The local Fox affiliate in ... (Below threshold)
Mike:

The local Fox affiliate in DC ran this as an actual story last night but only recognizing that it could be a hoax at the very end of the blurb.
Pathetic.

The <a href="http://www.jqu... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

The Benjamin Vanderford hoaxed beheading video was reported as being first posted on "a Web site used by Islamic militants"

To clarify, I'm not saying ... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

To clarify, I'm not saying definitively I think it's a teenage prank or a terrorist hoax - the fact that the figure was sold in Kuwait could make it look more like a hoax by the terrorists but I'm still waiting for more.

I have been on a soapbox on... (Below threshold)

I have been on a soapbox on an aspect of this story - all alone: I'm the lone hawk blogger complaining that the jokes about this hoax are in bas taste.

I MUST ADD: WIZBANG's COVERAGE HAS BEEN OUTSTANDING - facts, context without snide snarky cheap humor that ATTEMPTS to belittle the enemy but more often than not belittles the hostages - those STILL held, those already SAVAGELY AND RUTHLESSLY MURDERED, and also the folks soldiering in Iraq and working on reconstruction projects in Iraq who are in danger of becoming hostages.

There must be a way to make jokes at the enemies expense (and the gullible MSM's) without making light of the horrible cost that some families have paid because their loved ones have been taken hostage.

Unfortunately - IMHO - most blogs (including great ones which normally do NOT do a lot of satire like Instapundit, Powerline, TCS, Polipundit) have FAILED to find this way, and their cheap tasteless attempts at humor (by showing Barney or Homer Simpson or other cartoon figures taken hostage) are neither funny, nor do they mock the enemy.

They're simply crude attempts at cheap humor which probably hurt the families who have lost loved ones to jihadist kidnappings.

And how must these crude jokes hurt the family of four Copts in NJ, or the Pearls. Hostage-taking and beheadings ARE REAL (even if this one was a hoax).

LET ME REPEAT: Wizabang has been the exception. God Bless you.

Read my long rant on this here:

http://astuteblogger.blogspot.com/2005/02/hoax-no-laughing-matter.html

The terrorists are now taki... (Below threshold)
Aubrey:

The terrorists are now taking advantage of the MSM's appetite for bad news and apparent inablility to distinguish credible evidence from pure BS. As in Rathergate, it's easy to fool someone who wants to believe your story, even a "professional journalist."

Reliapundit is right. GI J... (Below threshold)
Dan Collins:

Reliapundit is right. GI Joe is a true American hero. We need to bend every resource to getting him out of there as soon as possible. My deepest sympathies and my prayers go out to Mrs. Joe and the whole Joe family.

"Rookie mistake" is right. ... (Below threshold)

"Rookie mistake" is right. A friend of mind noted, long before the toy photos surfaced, that the supposed hostage "looked like a mannequin." I think part of what's going on here is that the media are overeager to report bad news out of Iraq after the stunningly successful elections last weekend.

it's to incredible to belie... (Below threshold)

it's to incredible to believe...




Advertisements









rightads.gif

beltwaybloggers.gif

insiderslogo.jpg

mba_blue.gif

Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile

Contact

Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]

Fresh Links

Credits

Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login



Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy