Three items from the academic world:
1. The Daily Princetonian is published less than two miles away from my house, but it took Larwyn to bring this to my attention (and Larwyn got it from
Flopping Aces Confederate Yankee), re: the non-existent Jamil Hussein: You can’t handle the truth
Several of these other possibly fake sources, including one man who posed as a lieutenant and has a warrant out for his arrest, were consistently quoted in the same articles as Hussein. Hussein has also commented about attacks on Sunnis in numerous far-flung areas of Baghdad. Finally, Hussein was quoted on average twice a week between April and November but has not been quoted once since this controversy erupted. While these facts hardly prove anything by themselves, together with everything we know they strongly suggest that Hussein is a figment of the AP’s imagination and that any statements attributed to him are false.
That the story is wrong is beyond debate; even the AP now refers to one burned mosque, not four, so the question is not “if” but “how badly” the AP screwed up. Yet instead of an apology, the AP’s response to criticism has been to shoot the messenger. The story first broke on the conservative blog www.floppingaces.net and grew quickly within a circle of other conservative blogs and opinion columns. The AP alleged that this was simply a “mad blog rabble” attacking an entirely reputable source. This ignores the fact that Hussein only became a story after the U.S. military and Iraqi government demanded but did not receive a retraction of the original faulty report.
So why have traditional media sources not reported this controversy? Because it is not in their interests to undermine the AP. This summer’s “fauxtography” scandal at Reuters, in which photographers were found to have photoshopped evidence of Israeli atrocities during the Hezbollah war, did not hit at the underlying narrative. The storyline stayed the same with different details. If the AP has to issue a correction for all 61 stories in which Hussein was quoted, it will call into question fundamental perceptions about what is happening in Iraq. If Hussein isn’t real, it suggests that there are other as yet undiscovered fakes.
Now Eason Jordan‘s got enough money to be inviting Michelle Malkin and Flopping Aces on a trip to Iraq to find Jamil.
Yes, the same Eason Jordan who admitted to selling out CNN to Saddam Hussein to keep its Baghdad bureau open. On whose dime, I’d like to know, since I very seriously doubt that Eason’s charging it on personal account.
I do find it ironic that the designers of this object decided to stick iPod’s signature white earbuds into Che’s ears–especially with Americans in training in the Latin American Medical Center going on record only last week that they were “going minimalist” in the island paradise and learning to do without their iPods. How many of the Cubans that Che helped to “liberate” could afford an iPod, or would have access to iTunes to stock it with songs? I wonder if Apple knows about this adaptation of their product?