MONDAY’S LETTERS: AP’s Disputed Iraq Story, Jimmy Carter’s Book

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By: E&P Staff

in today’s letters, readers charge the Associated Press with bias and ask the news service to produce the source of a disputed story, and another reader disputes former president Jimmy Carter’s claim that his book is being ignored by the media.


On the Disputed AP Report on Burned Iraqis

It is real simple. The media needs to produce the so called Capt. Jamil Hussein for the public so that we can see that he is a real person and a police captain. Until then, the AP and their media sympathizers have no credibility with those that get their news online. Just put up or shut up.

Mike Eustace
Mansfield, Texas

What kind of a rag is E & P? All the AP has to do is produce Jamil Hussein. Why haven’t they done that? Why are you just repeating what they say instead of writing something worthwhile? Oh, I know: you are just stenographers. How pathetic and obvious you hacks have become. …

Joseph Plumitallo

Yes, and isn’t that unfortunate. This “source” has now been shown to NOT be any kind of spokesman for ANYTHING other than his own misinformation agenda. The media’s constant willingness to believe whatever is told them by 2nd-, 3rd- or 4th-hand information, instead of at least listening to the U.S. military on the ground as to what info they have, continues to show the bias against truth.

Ms. Carroll’s indignation over questions being asked is laughable. I would place more belief into the individuals who dared to wonder about this report, than the “fake but accurate” mentality shown by AP, Reuters, and the mainstream media.

Madelyn Quest

The Associated Press had violated its responsibility to the people of the United States in reporting on Iraq time and time again! The Iraqi reporters have their own agenda and the AP has been publishing their propaganda every since the embedded journalists left the military units! Do you think everyone in the U.S. is blind, dumb, and stupid. Time for the news outlets to face the music! We’ve had enough of your anti-American rhetoric! TIME TO PUT UP OR SHUT UP!

Ruth Skidmore
Plymouth, Calif.

Seems like it would be ever so easy for the AP to expose their critics as uninformed partisans. Simply produce the AP stringer and the controversial “Police Captain” to other media and/or the military.

Bill Henslee
El Lago, Texas

My favorite line was the idea that it’s easy to somehow be courageous sitting in front of a monitor thousands of miles from the war. It’s so ironic because the allegation is that AP is lacks courage to do the reporting itself and is instead hiding in safety while sending out stringers to work with the enemy and create stories-stories that if sensationalist enough will be happily passed on, promoted, and more by the AP.

Step up and report the news. That’s all people want, and expect. Do it well, and you’ll be respected. Do it poorly by simply pimping the enemy’s propaganda for them, and you’ll be judged. In the meantime…the Internet is checking your stories, and there’s no stopping that from happening.

Scott Malensek
Akron, Ohio

The AP people claim that they have a history of working with this man, Reuters had a photographer with a long history too — but it was a history with many fakes in his work. What is the problem with producing this man for the world to meet? If he is a policeman he should be safe.

They have used the same — we trust our source argument — as the folks at the NY Times did with a couple of famous not unemployed writers. Why don’t the public believe your professionals anymore? Because you have broken the trust.

Brad Sandy

Regarding the charges and countercharges about AP’s reporting in Iraq: surely AP can allow some third party access to Capt. Jamil Hussein to confirm his existence? Surely some third party could stop by the police station he is stationed at and ask to see him?

AP’s continuing repeated self confirmation that it has not been duped becomes more and more difficult to give credence to.

This is particularly true since several of the details of the original story (e.g. that four mosques were burned) seem to have been, sub silentio, abandoned.

John Lederer
Oregon, Wis.

Daily, editorials tell us to question politicians, CEOs, corporations, and our children. But apparently, the one thing Americans are not free to do is to question the Associated Press. We are forced to read one person’s view of a news item, no matter where we live. The monopoly of the AP is truly big business gone bad. The chilling effect of the AP’s outrage over American citizens asking questions is worthy of the dark ages. I applaud the soldiers, bloggers and elected representatives who have no cowered in the face of the AP’s scare tactics. Their efforts to intimidate those who exercise their rights to speak truth to power are disgusting. I believe every newspaper should go back to local reporting, and not rely on the questionable ethics and outright terrorist coddling of the AP, as well as their dubious sourcing and adversarial relationship to the American military.

Speak truth to power. Questions your wire service report.

Karen Mango

Having their credibility questioned is the price the AP pays for so blatantly pushing the liberal political agenda. At best, many of the AP’s “news” stories use emotion-laden words that belong on editorial pages. At worst, their articles are propanda — worthy of the former USSR — especially the articles about President Bush and Iraq. Of course, the AP is too blind to put two and two together and realize why they’re no longer trusted to get the story right.

Pam Sellers

Relative to the story about the AP’s standing by their story about the immolation of six Sunni worshipers, pulled from a mosque in the Hurriyah neighborhood of Baghdad. The AP’s claims are very weak. They haven’t produced the names of those torched. One would think that the families would have reported them missing, at least. There should have been burn spots on the ground near the mosque in question, which was not named in the rebuttal article. There might even be DNA on the ground from the bodies. Did the AP try to even verify that there was any evidence of six burn spots near the mosque (or wherever)? And who disposed of the remains? What about the people in charge of the mosque? Did they see anything? Sorry, but the AP’s reporting can only be considered as anything but shoddy until some key facts are turned up.

Wayne Martin
Palo Alto, Calif.

I found your extensive report of the AP’s disputed story interesting if a bit too extensive. Any time AP disputes one of their critics it sounds like another “thou doth protest too much.” AP is well known to us “non-socialists” as a purveyor of anti-conservative biased propaganda. I have found the Associated Press no more than a tool of the Democratic National Committee and therefore not a credible source.

Thomas Rees
Carlsbad Calif.

Oh, the outrage!! I counted no less than 13 letters on your December 11, 2006 online edition criticizing the Associated Press for the story about the burning of 6 Iraqis. For those angry individuals, AP has no credibility. But where’s their outrage about the suppression of news from Iraq by our own military? I presume these same angry letter writers who obviously read E&P didn’t miss the story just last week in which it was revealed the U.S. Military “undercounted violent attacks by more than 1000 percent.”

Let’s do the math, shall we? Assume AP may have exaggerated by 6 deaths the violence in Iraq — but the U.S. Military is undercounting by 1000 per cent!! As your own story said, “For example, on one day in July 2006 there were 93 attacks or significant acts of violence [officially] reported. Yet a careful review of the reports for that single day brought to light 1,100 acts of violence. ”

So, all you critics of AP – are you angry now? Are you outraged now? Or is it simply yet another double standard of the right wing and supporters of Bush’s Blunder in Iraq, demonstrated yet again? Is your outrage to be viewed as credible, or is it simply your agenda poking its ugly head through the internet?

Americans are supposed to be able to trust our government, honesty and integrity are supposed to be democracy’s hallmarks. But this adminstration has no credibility, it cannot be trusted, it has repeatedly and consistently lied to Americans, and this is more evidence that George W. Bush is indeed the worst president in American history.

Bill Adkins
Williamstown, KY


Carter Being Ignored?

President Jimmy Carter’s claim that newspapers are ignoring his book is unfounded. Millions of people have heard about his book from newspapers, TV, the Internet, etc.

Carter’s charge that he has “seen few news stories in major newspapers about what I have written” ignores the coverage by major newspapers in L.A., Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Washington, D.C., and the wire services. There is abundant coverage about the book — and the certainly newsworthy challenge to its accuracy by a close associate of Carter, Kenneth Stein, who resigned from the Carter Center because the book was “replete with factual errors, copied materials not cited, superficialities, glaring missions, and simply invented segments.”

Carter asserts the media ignores the issue, but then lists the dozens of talk shows, news programs and long lines at book signings. If that’s ignoring an issue, who needs a publicist?

Todd Winer
Director of Public Relations
American Jewish Committee/Chicago Chapter
Chicago Ill.

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