Evidence Is Mounting — More Fake News

by John Hawkins | November 28, 2006 2:22 am

Bloggers are compiling quite a bit of evidence that war propagandists in the Middle East have succeeded in infiltrating the international and American media by selling them (both literally and figuratively) stories that are not only fake, but also inaccurate. See the latest from Patterico[1] and Flopping Aces[2].

It is good to see bloggers exposing stories like these, as they did the “fauxtography” stories and others over the past few years, but it is definitely an uphill battle trying to bring this news to the public. The Anchoress[3] writes about how difficult it is to take back these stories even after they have been proven incorrect or fake.

I wonder how many of our troops are being further endangered by the fakery we’re discovering here? I wonder how many of their deaths in the coming weeks will be due to this sort of stuff?

As usual with stories like this the fake story – and the impressions it has made on the minds of the public – is out there, damage done. I don’t see how alternate media can win against a major media that fabricates crap and puts it out there knowing that even if they correct the story a week later, they’ve done their damage. It’s a sneakly lawyer’s trick, actually – like putting an idea in a jury’s head and then having the judge tell them to “disregard” it.

Jeff Goldstein[4] has more to say about the impact of the mainstream press.

From Curt at Flopping Aces comes the news many of us quietly expected: Centcom has confirmed that Capt. Jamil Hussein, the primary source for the recent kerosene mosque murder reports–and for a whole host of reports of Shia massacres recounted by the AP–is neither an employee of Iraq’s Ministry of Interior nor is he a police captain.

In short, the AP has been relying on a bogus source for much of its reporting on Shia violence against Sunnis since at least April.

For those who continue to suggest that the mainstream press has a negligible impact on elections, consider that the majority of Americans who bothered to pay any attention whatsoever to this story will be left with an account of horrific sectarian violence against women and children–and the belief that sectarian strife in Iraq is not only inexorable and savage, but pandemic.

Update: The AP is standing by their story[5] and insists Jamil Hussein is a valid source. It will be interesting to see how this one ends.

I have more on this story[6] and others at Wizbang[7]. Thanks to John for letting me guest blog at Right Wing News today.

  1. Patterico: http://patterico.com/2006/11/24/5419/is-the-la-times-repeating-enemy-propaganda-or-is-there-another-reason-the-paper-is-getting-basic-facts-wrong-and-failing-to-report-the-militarys-side/
  2. Flopping Aces: http://www.floppingaces.net/2006/11/25/getting-the-news-from-the-enemies-mouth/
  3. The Anchoress: http://theanchoressonline.com/2006/11/27/whats-a-few-fake-spokesmen-between-friends/
  4. Jeff Goldstein: http://www.proteinwisdom.com/index.php/weblog/entry/21760/
  5. standing by their story: http://www.windsofchange.net/archives/ap_calls_flopping_acesthis_will_be_interesting-print.php
  6. this story: http://wizbangblog.com/2006/11/27/flopping-aces-uncovers-the-latest-case-of-media-malpractice.php
  7. Wizbang: http://wizbangblog.com

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