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Saturday, December 2, 2006
NewsBusters Again Ignores AP's Defense of Story
Topic: NewsBusters

While NewsBusters' Greg Sheffield doesn't share fellow NewsBuster Tim Graham's "macaca" obsession, he does share his penchant for ignoring inconvenient facts.

In a Dec. 2 post claiming that the Associated Press "used a government source that doesen't exist," Sheffield excerpted a UK Guardian article stating that the Iraq government "wants to make sure the AP and other media outlets cannot get away with similar fraudulent activity" by forming a "press monitoring unit." But Sheffield's excerpt of the Guardian article in his post stops when it gets to AP's defense:

AP rejected the accusation and said it does not pay for information. In a statement, AP's executive editor Kathleen Carroll said the reporter concerned had been in regular contact with the Captain for more than two years, often meeting in his police station in west Baghdad. Other witnesses to the attack had also been interviewed.

"The Iraqi spokesman said today that reporting on the such atrocities 'shows that the security situation is worse than it really is.' He is speaking from a capital city where people are gunned down in their cars, dragged from their homes or blown apart in public places every single day," said Ms Carroll.

"Good reporting relies on more than government-approved sources. We stand behind our reporting."

NewsBusters bloggers have a history of downplaying or ignoring AP's claims and reporting in standing by its story of six Sunnis burned alive and its source, Jamil Hussein.

Further, in placing his faith in military authorities, Sheffield ignores the U.S. military's history of distortion of news from Iraq, as David Neiwert details:

The cold reality, backed up by case after case, is that the information being released by the American military in Iraq for the duration of this misbegotten war has been not merely PR on steroids, but a psy ops operation targeting the Iraqi population only tangentially. Its chief target all along has been the American public.

The first people to come into conflict with such operatations have always been journalists, particularly those trying honestly to do their jobs. This has always been the case, and will always be so.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:02 PM EST

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