The AP Could Take A Lesson – From Al Jazzera

Al Jazzera has a story up about the attack in Zamazola, Afghanistan which was announced by thePakistani government as an attack on Taliban fighters.

In my mind, it’s a case study on what reporters ought to be doing in this complex, media-aware war.

Here’s the lede:

Al Jazzera has obtained exclusive pictures of the aftermath of an airstrike by Pakistani forces which killed at least 10 people.

The footage shows an unexploded bomb that could not have been fired from the helicopter gunships that the Pakistani military said carried out the raid.

Pakistan’s military said the airstrike on Tuesday targeted suspected al-Qaeda compounds but villagers in Zamzola said only civilians were killed.

In Salamat Ghundi, another village, residents told Reuters news agency that an unmanned US drone aircraft carried out the attack.

“This is wrong. We have already denied it. This is usual that such things are said on such occasions but these are wrong,” Shaukat Sultan, Pakistan’s military spokesman, said on Friday.

OK, then they go to the facts on the ground.

On Thursday, journalists, who were escorted to Zamzola by armed men, were shown an unexploded missile which was just under two metres long and marked ‘MFP AMF YORK 0873′. Villagers said it was dropped during the airstrike but its casing appeared to be old and weathered.

[emphasis added]

That’s what I’m talking about. It’s the same thing that Anderson Cooper did when Hezbollah stage-managed press coverage in Lebanon – he described what he was seeing. That way we – the audience – can begin to put the reporting into some kind of perspective and make reasonable judgments about it.

That’s what we have the right to expect from journalists.

That’s why I’m unhappy with AP – they don’t do that. It’s time they started.

10 thoughts on “The AP Could Take A Lesson – From Al Jazzera”

  1. Since when have our drones carried dumb-bombs? MK82’s are not the most accurate of weapons. IIRC most of the drones in US Service have 800 pounds capacity. The stupidity of putting an unguided dumb weapon on a drone should be readily apparent.

  2. I’m unhappy with the “Washington Post, personally”:

    _One of the key points Solomon makes in his story is that the sale should raise eyebrows because the people who bought Edwards’ home are at legal loggerheads with two unions whose support Edwards is trying to secure for his Presidential bid. The buyers, the story reports, are Paul and Terry Klaassen, the “wealthy founders of the nation’s largest assisted-living housing chain for seniors._

    _Well, I’ve just gotten in touch with an official from that second union, and guess what: The official told me that UFCW doesn’t see anything whatsoever wrong with what Edwards did. What’s more, the official said that Solomon didn’t even contact the union at all for comment on the story._

    I’ll say this again and again – there are issues with the current press, but you keep cherry-picking “mistakes” (or sometimes not even mistakes, in the case of Hussein) simply to back up your propaganda points.

    That’s fine and all – it’s a free country. But I’m also free to point out that your concern about “oughts”, OUGHT to be neutral and broad-based. Also, willing to come clean for example, when pimping an unfavorable AP story about Iraqi cops.

    But of course, as my handle states “hypocrisy rules”, you don’t provide that.

    Really though, who do you think you are convincing here? Do you truly think your cherry-picking propagandistic fetish for AP errors, convinces anyone?

    Although, in a way, I do agree – that “Passive voice” tends to lend an air of unreality to reporting, that pretends that the “facts happened from on high”. That omniscient view only works with instant replay (and sometimes not even then) so it is definitely a pretense of “objective” newsreporting.

    What I hate is when that passive voice (God’s neutral eye pretension) is combined with the “He said/she said” approach. Good luck getting any truth out of that combination.

    I would agree that including context would be better.

    Hmm, I start with condemnation, but I do see your point…

    I would just say, in regards to YOUR context for pointing out AP errors, you grossly cherrypick.

  3. NONE of the errors in the reporting from the ME or Lebanon were slanted in favor of Israel. So this is not random error or mere incompetence but rather group think dominating reporting.

    Indeed given the Clinton’s long history of co-opting or placing their allies inside the Press, the Edwards story you cite could be taken of more evidence of group-think: Hillary good / Rivals bad.

    But you must concede that no story out of the Press has positively reflected on Israel in years. THAT alone contrasted with blatant transmission of unedited propaganda by a known terrorist organization that is second only to Al Qaeda in killing Americans speaks volumes about the Press’s mindset and group think.

  4. I would just say, in regards to YOUR context for pointing out AP errors, you grossly cherrypick.

    I guess the magic mantra is “cherrypick”, but pointing out that a news report contains errors is not cherrypicking, son. A good journalists does not defend a bad report by pointing out that he filed five other stories that weren’t false.

    The way you guys kowtow to the AP, you’d think it was Thomas Jefferson’s Koran or something. We have a right to criticize the media and to demand better quality from the media. The fact that this annoys you is kind of a personal problem. You seem willing to defend every mistake the AP makes, and yet you would no doubt turn around and claim that people who listen to FOX or talk radio are brainwashed.

    BTW, even if this were cherrypicking, it would not be hypocrisy. Hypocrisy means something else. Why don’t you change your name to something that isn’t a middle finger, and see if people take you more seriously?

  5. Reuters fired its photo editor who held the job during the photoshop scandal last summer, and then kept it secret that they had done so. What do you want to bet his name was Mohammad al-Something?

  6. “..but you keep cherry-picking “mistakes” (or sometimes not even mistakes, in the case of Hussein)”

    So you admit that Hussein wasn’t just a mistake, that it was a deliberate lie? Wow, not even I was prepared to go that far …yet. I suppose that is a logical conclusion though, given how long this farce has dragged on.

    Here’s a link to Jamil’s picture:

    Here’s a link to a recent interview with Jamial:

    Here’s a link to audio of Gamil from last week:

    Here’s a link to video of Jamile:

    Anyone…feel free to fill in the links above. Whatsa matta; can’t do it?

    Just think, if someone acutally provides a link, we may be able to begin to explore whether or not the AP was lying about the ‘burning six’ slander/propaganda!

  7. You know, hypocrisy and alex x and mark were all over trying to get AL to eat some humble pie over that Hussein story a week or so ago.

    Here’s a link to Michelle Malkin’s follow up report:

    {NM: bare “link”: corrected}

    Huh… what a surprise… turns out most of the “facts” AP reported either turned out to be flat-out lies or gross exaggerations. Who would’a thunk it?

    I shan’t bother holding my breath waiting for any of the above three to drop by for some pie of their own.

  8. “#70 from hypocrisyrules at 11:52 pm on Jan 04, 2007
    _Shocking twist on Hussein!

    He DOES exist!

    Nice work A.L. – get the guy arrested for reporting what al-Hashimi, and other neighborhood residents independently verified. And why?

    Ah, but watch this site SHUT UP about this now, right_?”

    Keep spreading that enemy propaganda, hypocrisy.

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