Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Right-Wing Bloggers Wrong About AP Story - Will They Apologize?

When I think of every time our right-wing counterparts in the political blog world humiliate themselves, I'm reminded of former NBA star Charles Barkley who, upon hearing that Tonya Harding was calling herself "the Charles Barkley of figure skating," said "I was going to sue her for defamation of character, but then I realized I have no character."

And here we have so many conservative bloggers, after days of castigating the Associated Press for running what the wingnuts claimed was a fictitious story about six Sunnis being burned alive in sectarian violence in Iraq on Friday, having to once again face what a bunch of putzes they really are.

The AP reported last night on eyewitnesses to the immolations, that occurred when Sunni worshippers were leaving a Mosque on Friday and have also substantiated the identity of Iraqi police Capt. Jamil Hussein, who the AP cited as the primary source for its story that the Sunnis were killed while the Iraqi military stood by and did nothing.

Said the most recent AP story:
"Seeking further information about Friday's attack, an AP reporter contacted Hussein for a third time about the incident to confirm there was no error. The captain has been a regular source of police information for two years and had been visited by the AP reporter in his office at the police station on several occasions. The captain, who gave his full name as Jamil Gholaiem Hussein, said six people were indeed set on fire."
You can read the rest of the AP story, which includes the eyewitness accounts, here.

But over the last few days -- ever since a Naval Public Affairs officer demanded in writing that the AP publish a retraction for the article, which the military claimed was false -- our little Bloggers for Bush have been more excited about all of this than Mark Foley at a Boy Scout Jamboree.

"MSM credibility, R.I.P." said Michelle Malkin on her blog, while the Powerline dudes headlined it all with " Story of Sunnis Burned Alive Going Up In Smoke."

Here's Powerline:
"There is no doubt plenty of violence in Baghdad to go around. But the current attitude toward the situation in Iraq is one of hysteria. That hysteria is being shamelessly stoked by news organs like the Associated Press, who rely--apparently uncritically--on reports from stringers who may be imposters, and may be agents of the insurgency. Such reports are repeated endlessly and thereby add to the momentum for surrender in Iraq. The difficulty of getting reliable reporting out of Iraq should not become an excuse for an abandonment of all journalistic standards."
How funny is it to hear lectures on "journalistic standards" coming from these guys?

"It's Official: Media Body Burning Story is Bogus," crowed Newsbusters -- the wingnut National Enquirer -- who just went mad with glee proclaiming that "The news that six Sunnis were captured by Shiites, doused with kerosine [sic] and burned alive, was too sensational to not be picked up by the mainstream media. But it turns out that the event never happened. Furthermore, the Iraqi 'spokesman' relied on to give all information regarding this event is as fictional as the story itself."

Newsbusters took it a step further by also concluding that NBC's decision to begin calling what's going on in Iraq a "civil war" was based in part on the "bogus" nature of that story.

Flopping Aces, which seems to have started this embarrassing affair, has been running a lengthy series ominously called "Getting The News From The Enemy" while The Jawa Report really stands proud and proclaims that "It's unlikely that the Associated Press and other news agencies will issue corrections approaching the sensationalism with which they originally pushed the false stories."

Ouch. That kind of strident crap's got to make their red-state faces pretty damned crimson about right now.

But then, to grotesquely paraphrase Sir Charles Barkley, they would feel the shame that's coming to them, but then they realized that they have no shame.

Update: Oliver "Like Kryptonite To Stupid" Willis checks in with his two-cent's worth.