Bad Journalism 101

Journalism isn’t that hard. It is routinely taught to Freshman high school students. Yet, somehow when it comes to making accusations against the Bush administration, the simply task of reporting the news becomes an insurmountable obstacle. The leftwing blogs are atwitter with the latest “scandal.”

US bribe insurgents to fight Al-Qaeda
Marie Colvin and Sarah Baxter

AMERICAN forces are paying Sunni insurgents hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash to switch sides and help them to defeat Al-Qaeda in Iraq. …

The Sunday Times has witnessed at first hand the enormous sums of cash changing hands. One sheikh in a town south of Baghdad was given $38,000 (£19,000) and promised a further $189,000 over three months to drive Al-Qaeda fighters from a nearby camp.

Did you notice anything missing from this accusation that a high school student would have felt obligated to report?

Like the name and rank of the U.S. soldier or Marine passing out cash. Or even his unit…. They didn’t even mention the city, simply saying “a town south of Baghdad.” Considering Baghdad is in the center of the country, that narrows it down half the entire country.

Certainly if you’re going to make an accusation like this a few corroborating fact should be available if it was witnessed ‘first hand’?

You’ll excuse me if this sounds an awful lot like the videographer who went on Good Morning America telling stories of dead babies in front of the New Orleans Convention Center after Katrina when there where no dead babies. And as I pointed out, it should have struck his producers as suspicious when a videographer gets on TV telling these tall tales yet he didn’t have any video of what he claims he saw.

I realize this is the Times Online and I should be judging on a curve, but geeze, can’t they even make up stories better than this?

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