Saturday, September 23, 2006


The AP's version of breaking news

The AP, in the guise of President and Chief Executive Tom Curley, is on the attack:

“Bilal Hussein, an Iraqi photographer who helped the Associated Press win a Pulitzer Prize last year, is now in his sixth month in a U.S. Army prison in Iraq. He doesn't understand why he's there, and neither do his AP colleagues.” Tom Curley - In Iraq, a Journalist in Limbo

Anyone reading Mr. Curley’s piece would naturally be upset at what was going. Some might remember the case of Iraqi CBS cameraman, Abdul Hussein, who was detained, charged after a long while and then acquitted in an Iraqi court...then, they remember that this is, after all, the Associated Press and maybe, just maybe, the readers weren't getting the whole story. As it is, Michelle Malkin has been all over this case for months and is probably an inspiration behind Mr. Curley’s foray into the Op-Ed world.

“Over the past five months, I have pestered the Associated Press for answers about one of its photographers, Iraq-based Bilal Hussein. As noted here in April, Hussein's photos have raised persistent questions in the blogosphere about his relationship with terrorists in Iraq and whether his photos were/are staged in collusion with the enemy.” Michelle Malkin: Associated Press and the Bilal Hussein case

The AP reported breaking this story on September 17th: U.S. holds AP photographer in Iraq 5 mos :

“The AP has worked quietly until now, believing that would be the best approach. But with the U.S. military giving no indication it would change its stance, the news cooperative has decided to make public Hussein's imprisonment, hoping the spotlight will bring attention to his case and that of thousands of others now held in Iraq, Curley said.”

…in other words, they reluctantly break a story in September that Ms. Malkin had reported on in April:

“According to my tipster, Hussein was captured earlier today by American forces in a building in Ramadi, Iraq, with a cache of weapons.”

If the other two captured with him are legitimately held, then I’m not sweating it for Mr. Hussein. A free press does not have to be a pampered or privileged press. The standard here should be the same as any other in a similar situation. The AP press pass gets Mr. Hussein no extra credit and, if it’s a question of credibility here, no contest: the Pentagon wallops the AP.

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