Well, it really isn't surprising, but the New York Times has a substantially different take on the Associated Press and their continued quoting of an apparently fictional police captain. Jules Crittenden at the Boston Herald slammed the AP, the Times basically takes the view that the bloggers are wrong. Because they use an old trick here. While mentioning Curt at Flopping Aces and the detective work he did, the vast majority of the story is used to regurgitate the AP defenses and obscure the details of what exactly happened. The reporter can say he was balanced because he reported both sides, but a casual reader gets overwhelming opinion about the AP story.
For bloggers who believe that the media has been drawing false pictures of mayhem in Iraq, the insistence of the American military and Iraqi officials that the burning incident appeared to be a mere rumor was proof that their suspicions were correct.
“Getting the News From the Enemy” was how the Flopping Aces blog (floppingaces.net) tracked the developing face-off between the military and A.P.
Iraq’s interior ministry wielded the article like a bludgeon and used it as an opportunity to create a press monitoring unit that suggested, in no uncertain terms, that reporters in Baghdad should come to its press officers for “real, true news.” A ministry spokesman promised “legal action” — whatever that might mean — against journalists who publish information the agency deemed wrong.
That may seem patently absurd. But in a country where most of the on-street, in-neighborhood reporting for Western news organizations is done by native Iraqis — working at great personal risk — the threat of “legal action” may reverberate with tones more menacing, and more damaging to a free press, than they seem at first blush.
Then there was The Associated Press itself, which by Friday had come to view the continued scrutiny of its article as evidence that everyone — the military, the blogosphere, even other media outlets tracking the back-and-forth — was either agenda-driven, insolent, or both, but not legitimately curious.
Pretty much it just perks along like that. But here's the way the Times reports the AP response to one glaring fact: There is no – none, zero, zip – of the internal Iraqi uproar such a lurid and glaring story of atrocity you would normally expect. A story this outrageous should have cause enormous internal agitation. Iraqi politicians should have been going berserk and running with it. Only there is none of that – at all.
Meanwhile, little in the way of fallout over the event itself has been detected — no outcry, no heated, televised denunciations from Sunni clerics and politicians — as might be expected from what The Associated Press itself called “one of the most horrific alleged attacks of Iraq’s sectarian war.”
And so questions lingered and the blogs raged on.
The executive editor of The Associated Press, Kathleen Carroll, in a meeting in her office Friday afternoon, explained that the agency had already done all it could to respond to the uncertainties by vigorously re-reporting the article, and suggested that to engage these questions — to continue to write about them — merely fueled a mad blog rabble that would never be satisfied.
The "mad blog rabble" would be more than happy with accurate reporting instead of what is supposed to be a respected news organization mindlessly regurgitating enemy propaganda. Notice how the AP tries to stifle even the Times' reporting, though? Interesting, is it not? Curt responds to the New York Times here.