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Thursday, July 26, 2007
We Get Results (And No Thanks)
Topic: Washington Examiner

Last week, we noted that Lorie Byrd, in her July 19 Washington Examiner column touting her new attack site Media Mythbusters, falsely claimed that the Associated Press "retracted" its so-called "Sunni burning six" story. We also wrote a letter to the Examiner, which was published Tuesday.

Today, the Examiner published the following correction and appended it to her online column:

A July 19 oped by Lorie Byrd (New Web site will keep track of questionable news stories) incorrectly reported that the Associated Press had retracted a story it ran in late November that six people had been burned to death during sectarian violence at a Sunni mosque in Iraq. Byrd also raised questions about the AP's source, police Capt. Jamil Hussein, saying that he could not be found and that his name was a pseudonym. In January, the Iraqi Interior Ministry, which initially denied Hussein's existence, confirmed that he was an Iraqi police officer and said he faced disciplinary action for speaking to the media.

Byrd herself issued a correction on the Media Mythbusters blog, but tried to fuzz it up a little: "Instead of saying they 'retracted' elements of the story, I should have said they revised elements of the story." Byrd then digresses into the "ongoing dispute" over the identity of Jamil Hussein.

As much as Byrd likes to tout those who contribute to Media Mythbusters' attacks, she makes no acknowledgment to us for pointing out she was wrong, which would be the honorable thing to do. This speaks to the partisan nature of the website -- that it will not praise anything the media does if it conflicts with Media Mythbusters' agenda, and it will admit errors only bregrudgingly and when it can't otherwise avoid doing so.

Still, when a website that claims "When in doubt, tell the truth" as a motto is forced to apologize for, uh, telling the truth, that's not exactly an auspicious sign.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:25 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, September 16, 2007 1:02 PM EDT

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