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AP Blows Another Iraq Story

The list of bogus news stories coming out of Iraq keeps growing... This is the latest...

Attack claims 22 Iraqis

By Jason Keyser
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

BAGHDAD -- Insurgents attacked a police station south of Baghdad under cover of darkness Sunday, killing 22 Iraqi police and soldiers, police said. Gunmen seized four Egyptians technicians in Baghdad in the second kidnapping of foreigners in the Iraqi capital within a week. ...

Fourteen attackers also died in the clash that broke out about 10:30 p.m. in Mahawil, 50 miles south of Baghdad, police Capt. Muthana Khalid Ali said. The dead included five Iraqi national guardsmen and 17 policemen, he said.


OOOOOPS

U.S. command spokeswoman Capt. Patricia Brewer said no attack occurred, citing provincial authorities. American troops are stationed in the northern part of Babil province. Efforts to contact Capt. Ali were unsuccessful and the operations room of the Babil provincial police command was not answering its phone.

According to CENTCOM the attack on the police station never occurred and neither did the reported 1 hour firefight.

How did the AP (and others) make the mistake? Well, for starters, they were not there. The byline reads Baghdad. So they are reporting from the hotel room again.

Then, they ran with a single source and did not even slow down long enough to check with CENTCOM. Even in the second story I linked, the reporter still seems to be clinging to the original version, only begrudgingly admitting it might be fantasy.

Postscript: It is a breaking story and the first version of the story may yet prove to be right... (though it is doubtful)

If it does turn out to be true however, that does not vindicate the reporter, it only shows he got lucky. For their part, CENTCOM is strongly denying it.


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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference AP Blows Another Iraq Story:

» Joe's Dartblog linked with Iraq News

» Jeff Blogworthy.com linked with Attack claims 22 Iraqis - Not!

» Narcissistic views on News/Politics linked with Ap fooled again?

» In the Bullpen linked with Terrorism Round-Up

» Hyscience linked with AP Blows Another Iraq Story

» KelliPundit linked with AP: Fooled or Wishful Thinking?

» Powerpundit linked with New Attacks In Iraq

Comments (12)

Tim R. lead the charge agai... (Below threshold)
Rod Stanton:

Tim R. lead the charge against the "bogus" election last Sun with JFK. He got no flak for his put down of the election fraud so the MSM feels it is safe to go back to the "wrong war, wrong time, wrong place, wrong approach..." line on "news". Tim had Teddy on this week again denigrating the war on terror. See if he catches any flak this week.

Compared to AP using a stri... (Below threshold)
ridgerunner:

Compared to AP using a stringer who may have actually participated in the ambush and murder of Iraqi election personell and compared to Jackie Spinner linking Iraqi Bloggers to the CIA thus greatly increasing the danger of their position this is realtively mild stuff.
Actually I can't say that with a straight face. What can possess people who are born free to trade their birthright for the darkness of radical Islam? How much is betrayed? What is the ultimate price for freely bartering enligtenment for the abyss?
The time has passed that these news organiztions can use the excuse that they cannot leave their hotel room. If they were as free with their own lives as they are with the lives of others they would not let mere death stop them. They have already died. It is the death of the soul.

unfortunately the washingto... (Below threshold)
daniel:

unfortunately the washington times ran the story on the front page

AP more often than not need... (Below threshold)
handy:

AP more often than not needs corroboration as the gents at Powerline prove over and over.

Why do people still pay money for hometown newspapers? Good blogs are more fun, more informative, and way more accurate.

It is the desire to have th... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

It is the desire to have the scoop. Seems like journalists now are more along the lines of "print now, check fact later" variety.

I wonder how much this has developed since the acvent of the 24 hour cable news channels.

<a href="http://www.boston.... (Below threshold)
jack:

http://www.boston.com/dailynews/038/world/Insurgent_attacks_on_Iraqi_pol:.shtml

The important bit is at the very end:

"However, U.S. command spokeswoman Capt. Patricia Brewer said no attack occurred, citing provincial authorities. Capt. Ali later said he had misread the initial report."

So the attack didn't happen, according to the very man who originally reported it. Of course other outlets have picked up the story and now it will run indefinitely. MSNBC.com has a story mentioning here:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6924964/

They don't even include a quote from CENTCOM denying it.

Just me...Or Blogs... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Just me...

Or Blogs

Oh definitely blogs play a ... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

Oh definitely blogs play a part too, although I don't know the MSM thinks they are competing with blogs, just seems the blogs do a good job of catching them with their pants down.

and when something like thi... (Below threshold)
r.a.:

and when something like this is reported and run on the front page etc., many people read it and believe it. especially when the correction is burried somewhere on page 16 a few days later...more people will go around believing the original story.

thats really a big problem. front page mistakes need front page corrections to really rectify the misinformation.

I agree r.a.The "o... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

I agree r.a.

The "oops" article is almost never as interesting or big as the original ones that needed the correcting.

And anything that even remotely looks bad for this administration is latched onto by the leftwing nuts and posted, mentioned everywhere as if the later corrections didn't exist.

Just me wrote:A... (Below threshold)
r.a.:

Just me wrote:

And anything that even remotely looks bad for this administration is latched onto by the leftwing nuts and posted, mentioned everywhere as if the later corrections didn't exist.

Yes, I agree that people with a certain agenda latch onto these types of things. It happens on both sides, you know?

liberals latch onto stories that work for their agenda, conservatives do the same. a really big problem is that people on both sides may feel that they are making an informed argument, because they read it in a paper they trust, or saw it on a news show they trust, etc. when incorrect info isnt corrected to the same degree that it was promulgated the effect is disproportionate.

the correction is often so small that it may as well not exist...if 500,000 people read a big headline that was wrong, and 100,000 read the small correction, there are still 400,000 people who feel that the first version is "the truth." not good.

thats one reason why all these blogs, on all sides of the political spectrum, are a good thing. finally there is a way to counter some of this. alot of these bloggers are really keeping people on their toes. thats a really good thing. the more people catching the bullshit, on all sides, the better.

Not to mention all the blog... (Below threshold)

Not to mention all the blogs with the discussion allowed with trackbacks and especially, comments. Some people have information gathering resources that others don't, so, therefore the maximum of information can be put out there.




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