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January 02, 2007

Coffee Snorters: Little Eichmanns Edition

I guess I didn't lose this after all. What a day...


Look who won first place! Our top ten list would have been slightly different (coming up later today in this post - feel free to suggest yours in the comments section).

Ouch. That's gotta smart edition:

If an Iraqi police captain by the name of Jamil Hussein exists, there is no convincing evidence of it - and that means the Associated Press has a journalistic scandal on its hands that will fester until the AP deals with it properly.

This controversy and the AP's handling of it call into question the credibility, integrity, and smarts of one of the world's biggest, most influential, most respected news organizations, the New York-based Associated Press.

It is striking that no one has been able to find a family member, friend, or colleague of Captain Hussein. Nor has the AP told us who in the AP's ranks has actually spoken with Captain Hussein. Nor has the AP quoted Captain Hussein once since the story of the disputed episode.

Therefore, in the absence of clear and compelling evidence to corroborate the AP's exclusive story and Captain Hussein's existence, we must conclude for now that the AP's reporting in this case was flawed.

To make matters worse, Captain Jamil Hussein was a key named source in more than 60 AP stories on at least 25 supposed violent incidents over eight months.

Until this controversy is resolved, every one of those AP reports is tainted.

When two governments challenge the veracity of your reporting, when there are reasonable doubts about whether your prime named source for a sensational exclusive story exists, when there's no proof a reported horrific incident occurred, when the news outlet responsible for the disputed report stonewalls and is stridently defensive, when the validity of dozens of other of your reports has been called into question as a result, then that news organization has a scandal on its hands, and that is where the AP finds itself.

Having learned from my own successes and failures and those of others, I know that a journalistic scandal can be handled effectively only when the news organization's management deals with it proactively, constructively, and transparently, with a readiness to admit any mistake, to apologize for it, and to take appropriate corrective action.

The AP has failed to do so in this case.

I, therefore, urge the AP to appoint an independent panel to determine the facts about the disputed report, to determine whether Iraqi Police Captain Jamil Hussein exists, and to share the panel's full findings and recommendations with the public.

Until this matter is resolved, the AP's credibility will suffer.

Via Instapundit

Sometimes I worry about this country.

On the otter heiny it could be worse - it's not like this is Georgia, for Pete's sake....

Posted by Cassandra at January 2, 2007 05:21 PM

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I would be happy to serve on a independent panel or study group looking into this AP matter. Perhaps I could send you my resume?

Posted by: Lee Itwouldn'tbeastudygroupcommisionwithoutme Hamilton at January 2, 2007 07:29 PM

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