MSM Self-Destructs

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007 3:03 pm by Neal

Good grief, the Mainstream Media (aka “MSM”) is disintegrating right before our very eyes. Just look at these examples:

John, at powerline has this story, More Trouble for the Associated Press with this letter by Eason Jordan:

If an Iraqi police captain by the name of Jamil Hussein exists, there is no convincing evidence of it – and that means the Associated Press has a journalistic scandal on its hands that will fester until the AP deals with it properly.

In statements, the AP insists Captain Hussein is real, insists he has been known to the AP and others for years, and insists the immolation episode occurred based on multiple eyewitnesses.

But efforts by two governments, several news organizations, and bloggers have failed to produce such evidence or proof that there is a Captain Jamil Hussein. The AP cannot or will not produce him or convincing evidence of his existence.

It is striking that no one has been able to find a family member, friend, or colleague of Captain Hussein. Nor has the AP told us who in the AP’s ranks has actually spoken with Captain Hussein. Nor has the AP quoted Captain Hussein once since the story of the disputed episode.

Therefore, in the absence of clear and compelling evidence to corroborate the AP’s exclusive story and Captain Hussein’s existence, we must conclude for now that the AP’s reporting in this case was flawed.

To make matters worse, Captain Jamil Hussein was a key named source in more than 60 AP stories on at least 25 supposed violent incidents over eight months.

Jordan picked-up on this story after Michelle Malkin questioned the existence of Jamil Hussein.

Strike One!

Speaking of Michelle Malkin, she has an unbelievable story today on a scandal at the New York Times involving a NYTimes Magazine story on “abortion in El Salvador” that is downright, factually wrong. Malkin writes,

Today’s Vent covers ombudsman Byron Calame’s stunning Sunday column calling the Times to task for its false, sloppy, and unrepentant pro-abortion propganda [sic] packaged as a New York Times Magazine cover story on abortion in El Salvador by freelance writer Jack Hitt.

The sensational piece alleged that women there had been thrown in prison for 30-year terms for having had abortions. Hitt described his visit to one of them, inmate Carmen Climaco. “She is now 26 years old, four years into her 30-year sentence” for aborting an 18-week-old fetus.

Cruel. Horrible. Outrageous. And utterly, demonstrably, false. Climaco had actually been convicted of murder for strangling her newborn baby.

Times ombudsman Calame wrote,

Complaints about the article began arriving at the paper after an anti-abortion Web site,, reported on Nov. 27 that the court had found that Ms. Climaco’s pregnancy ended with a full-term live birth. The headline: “New York Times Caught in Abortion-Promoting Whopper — Infanticide Portrayed as Abortion.” Seizing on the misleading presentation of the article’s only example of a 30-year jail sentence for an abortion, the site urged viewers to complain to the publisher and the president of The Times. A few came to me.

The care taken in the reporting and editing of this example didn’t meet the magazine’s normal standards. Although Sarah H. Smith, the magazine’s editorial manager, told me that relevant court documents are “normally” reviewed, Mr. Hitt never checked the 7,600-word ruling in the Climaco case while preparing his story. And Mr. Hitt told me that no editor or fact checker ever asked him if he had checked the court document containing the panel’s decision.

Mr. Hitt said Ms. Climaco had been brought to his attention by the magistrate who decided four years ago that the case warranted a trial, so he had asked the magistrate for the court record. “When she told me that the case had been archived, I accepted that to mean that I would have to rely upon the judge who had been directly involved in the case and who heard the evidence” in the trial stage of the judicial process, Mr. Hitt wrote in an e-mail to me. So he didn’t pursue the document.

But obtaining the public document isn’t difficult. At my request, a stringer for The Times in El Salvador walked into the court building without making any prior arrangements a few days ago, and minutes later had an official copy of the court ruling.

Read Malkin for more details on this ridiculous screw-up by the Times, and their arrogant refusal to acknowledge a blatant error.

We’ll call this Strike Two!

Finally, the Los Angeles Times has this piece lamenting the poor, poor Islamic thugs who have been run out of Mogadishu in what is arguably a victory for the US in the War on Terror. The LA Times reports,

MOGADISHU, SOMALIA — Their leaders slipped out of this capital under cover of darkness. Their plum jobs are gone. Their former offices were the first looted in a spasm of vandalism last week.

On Monday, these mid-level officials and fighters of Somalia’s now-defunct Islamic Courts Union got a renewed offer of amnesty from Somalian Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Gedi, who also set a three-day deadline for residents of Mogadishu to turn in their guns.

But for the Islamists left behind in Somalia’s long-troubled capital, the ordeal was not over. While top Islamic officials escaped south toward Kenya last week, thousands of employees, fighters and other Islamic courts supporters remained trapped in Mogadishu, struggling to comprehend the new reality.

Jamila Abdi Abdullahi, 21, is the mother of two small children and the wife of an Islamist militia commander. She and her husband were adherents of one of the courts’ most hard-line factions, known as Shabab. She first worked as a nurse, and last week picked up a gun to join fighters near the Ethiopian border.

Her husband fled with other Islamic leaders Thursday. She has stayed indoors since, afraid of being attacked. When she ventured out Sunday, she hid behind a full veil that had only a narrow slit for her eyes.

A week ago, such attire would have distinguished her as an ardent courts supporter and, therefore, earned her respect and deference. Now going out of the house dressed in such a manner causes her neighbors to shake their heads, warning that she might not return safely.

“I’m afraid,” she said. “The harassment is worse than ever…. That’s why I’m leaving.”

Awwww, what a sad story. The poor Islamists can no longer use their courts to torture those evil Somali’s, and now that they’ve been thrown out on their heads, they must hide behind their hijabs.

Since Christmas, Saddam Hussein has been executed, and the Islamic thugs who had taken over Mogadishu have been defeated. Someone had best put the LA Times staff on suicide watch.

Strike Three! The MSM is outta-there.

Comments are closed.