Cheat-Seeking Missles

Friday, January 05, 2007

MSM Delights In Jamil Hussein News

Editor & Publisher, the house organ of the MSM, doesn't like it when bloggers take on AP or other vaunted leaders of the news biz, so it's positively gleeful about the sudden appearance and planned arrest of Capt. Jamil Hussein, AP's source for much sensational news:
As reported elsewhere on this late this afternoon, Iraq's Interior Ministry acknowledged Thursday that an Iraqi police officer whose existence had been denied by the Iraqis and the U.S. military -- and mocked by conservative bloggers in the U.S. -- is in fact an active member of the force, and said he now faces arrest for speaking to the media.
Still, the article is worth reading because it provides a quick summary of the reaction to the news by the conservative bloggers that have dominated the Jamil discussion: Malkin, Allahpundit, Patterico, Curt at Flopping Aces, Capt. Ed and others.

The upshot:

The meltdown is more AP's fault than the bloggers', and is possibly a deliberate act by AP to discredit the bloggers. AP's credibility was so aggressively challenged it became a news story in its own right, but they made no effort to respond to the charges. It's as if they were letting the line run because they knew they had the fish hooked.

Bloggers serve a unique role in the information chain. We expect a certain amount of research and credibility from them, but not the level of confirmed certainty that should be behind a news story -- hence the bloggers' criticism of AP's use of Jamil in the first place.

Usually, this leads to the uncovering of lots of sound stories; occasionally, it leads to a Jamil scenario. Those caught up in mis-characterizing the story owe no one an apology and shouldn't change their style.

Next time, they're likely to hit pay dirt again.

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