19 Dec

AP Covering It’s Tracks

                                       

Kind of curious that the AP has taken their response of Nov 28th off their website.  The address that I, along with many other bloggers, linked to is this one

What kind of information was given in that response?

He has been based at the police station at Yarmouk, and more recently at al-Khadra, another Baghdad district, and has been interviewed by the AP several times at his office and by telephone. His full name is Jamil Gholaiem Hussein.

Also they said in that response that they confirmed the burning via hospital and morgue workers:

AP reporters who have been working in Iraq throughout the conflict learned of the mosque incident through witnesses and neighborhood residents and corroborated it with a named police spokesmen and also through hospital and morgue work

But guess what?  The new cache version has this paragraph:

AP reporters who have been working in Iraq throughout the conflict learned of the mosque incident through witnesses and later corroborated it with police.

The same paragraph minus the bit about the hospital and morgue workers. Here is a screenshot of the latest cache version.  Excuse all the colors, I searched with a long phrase from the original response:

Click it for more detail.

It appears they are now trying to get rid of the fact that they stated they verified this via hospital and morgue workers.

I wonder why?  Care to take a guess?

A big hattip to Bob from Confederate Yankee for noticing that the AP’s response was down.

UPDATE 1015hrs PST

The response is back up now and as I guessed, minus the hospital and morgue workers bit.  They are definately doing some house cleaning on this one.  You can still see the full response given on 11-28 at the USA Today website here.

UPDATE 1115hrs PST

Confederate Yankee has asked some journalist bigwigs a few questions about using unverified sources, or a source with a pseudonym, and got some interesting answers.  He summarizes their answers:

To summarize, these four experts and practitioners seem to agree that it would be better for the source to be anonymous, and that it is hardly ever permissible to use a pseudonym to protect a source. The consensus also seems to be that in the rare instances a pseudonym is used, the reporter has an obligation to explain to the reader that a pseudonym was being used, and why.

If however, the reporter uses a pseudonym and refuses to disclose that fact, they we have a serious breach of journalistic ethics, one Ham refers to as "fiction writing," and what Kovach considers a "deceiving the consumer of the information."

As Kovach noted in answer to my follow-up about the reporter supporting the pseudonym by adding a middle name, he said is "absurdely[sic] unethical."

In other words, if it is determined that the Associated Press knowingly used the name Jamil Hussein as an un-announced pseudonym, then they knowingly breached journalistic ethics in all 61 stories citing him as a source.

Further, if they are responsible for creating or purposefully attributing a known false middle name for this pseudonym—such as the name "Gholaiem" cited by none other than AP Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll herself—then they are guilty of a major ethical breach of journalistic ethics by furthering such a fraud.

He is referring to the fact that one of the AP’s responses, actually the Nov 28th response in which they fooled with today, cited the supposed "full" name of Jamil Hussein as Jamil Gholaiem Hussein. 

If this Jamil Gholaiem Hussein does not exist as it appears he does not (Michelle and I are double checking facts on that end with sources in Iraq before we post our findings), then this was a serious case of fraud.

UPDATE 1310hrs PST

Hot Air has pointed out that the two statements by Daniszewski issued on the 28th are not the same which does indeed appear to be true.  The original one from the AP starts out like so:

The Associated Press rejects unfounded attacks on its story about six Sunni worshippers burned to death outside their mosque on Friday, November 24.

AP reporters who have been working in Iraq throughout the conflict learned of the mosque incident through witnesses and later corroborated it with police.

While the one printed by USA Today starts out:

The Associated Press denounces unfounded attacks on its story about six Sunni worshipers burned to death outside their mosque on Friday, November 24. The attempt to question the existence of the known police officer who spoke to the AP is frankly ludicrous and hints at a certain level of desperation to dispute or suppress the facts of the incident in question.

AP reporters who have been working in Iraq throughout the conflict learned of the mosque incident through witnesses and neighborhood residents and corroborated it with a named police spokesmen and also through hospital and morgue workers.

Both written by Daniskewski on the same day.  One has the hospital and morgue workers while the other does not.  Now the question is, was that one sentence in the AP’s version prior to today and taken out or have the two responses been that different since day one.

Stay tuned.

About Curt

Curt served in the Marine Corps for four years and has been a law enforcement officer in Los Angeles for the last 20 years.
This entry was posted in Jamil Hussein Story. Bookmark the permalink. Tuesday, December 19th, 2006 at 9:51 am
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11 Responses to AP Covering It’s Tracks

  1. Bill Faith says: 2

    Sorry for the double comment. Your site’s acting a little strange. Part of the problem was a brief TypeKey outage that may have thrown some things out of sync.

    ReplyReply
  2. Curt says: 3

    No problem Bill, fixed it.

    ReplyReply
  3. Alec Rawls says: 4

    Daniszewski’s statement about the hospital and morgue workers supporting the burned bodies story was sent to USA Today’s On Deadline media blog. It is still posted there at this link (the last item before the comments).

    ReplyReply
  4. Curt says: 5

    Thanks Alec but I put that link in on my 1015hrs update.

    ReplyReply
  5. Alec Rawls says: 6

    Sorry for the repetition Curt. Here’s another thing to note though. Did you see that where the original referred to corroboration by “a named police spokesmen,” the altered version says only that the story was corroborated “with police”? Are they trying to airbrush Jamil Hussein out of the story now too? Good luck with that!

    ReplyReply
  6. Words escape me. No….wait…

    “Curiouser and Curiouser.”

    ReplyReply
  7. Alec Rawls says: 8

    Actually, there are a whole bunch of changes between the original Daniszewski statement and the one now posted. It no longer opens by attacking critics as “ludicrious” and “desperate,” and it includes new paragraphs in the body.

    The new statement seems to go back to at least 12/17, since Flopping Aces cited some of its new language on that date (the claim that Jamil Hussein has worked “more recently at al-Khadra, another Baghdad district”).

    ReplyReply
  8. crosspatch says: 9

    I have seen instances of stories being changed in the past. Washington Post is particularly fond of doing that. They will modify past stories or sometimes purge them from their archive in an apparent effort to change history.

    Rather than leave the original content with a pointer to an update or a notice that there is a “corrected” version in another location, I have noticed several instances of articles being edited after the fact.

    For a wire service such as AP, it puts the credibility of their member papers at risk. If a newspaper prints a story that is called into question and AP “stands behind” it, the member newspaper “stands behind it” as well. When AP undermines their member papers by editing content after the fact, it makes if difficult and possibly embarrassing for a paper to stand behind the content.

    What is even worse is when a member paper (such as WaPo) publishes a story that is picked up and distributed by a wire service. If they go back and edit the story without notice, they have made a monkey out of the wire service and everyone using their content. It is, of course, an attempt to change history. An attempt to make it appear they never said what they said. There are ways of setting the record straight without pretending you never said what you said to begin with.

    There are advantages to having a hard copy newspaper and archives on microfilm. With online content, history can be changed by simply editing history in the computer database. You can’t go back and change hardcopy that landed on thousands of doorsteps.

    Newspapers and wire services should leave content at its original location and make a note of an updated version. Otherwise they risk completely losing the faith of not only their readers but also their member papers.

    ReplyReply
  9. crosspatch says: 10

    I also find it interesting how many times exactly 53 bodies are found around the city of Baghdad. 53 seems to be some kind of magic number in Baghdad dead body reports.

    ReplyReply
  10. Tully says: 11

    As always, in awe, and referenced via link at Waiting For Jamil, or Someone Like Him.

    Give ‘em hell.

    ReplyReply

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