Monday, January 22, 2007

More on Jamil...

Flopping Aces and Austin Bay both discuss the case of Jamil Hussein. Austin Bay is promising another column on this.

Short version: The reporting doesn't check out. Not by a long shot. The AP has a lot of explaining to do. Even the alleged source remains open to question, as Confederate Yankee explains. The AP is still dodging, though. The long-term pattern by the AP is not encouraging. There was an air strike that came out of nowhere that MNF-I says never happened.

Austin Bay says:
Some bloggers and at least one AP editor personalized the debate over this story, attributing dark motives. That’s too bad, but it’s also the long term trend line. I think that’s why a news council of some type would be useful.
It's an idea that sounds good in theory, but there are problems with it in the long term. How will this new council operate? Will they have any teeth in terms of what they can do in a situation like this, where the news organization stonewalls?

Worse, how does one maintain objectivity on this sort of thing? There will be pressures on them to see things a certain way - from employers, from the news outlets themselves. Is there anyone who believes that the instant they side against the media in favor of someone who is one of their designated bad guys, that the media will not turn on them? And then, will these folks atnd up and stick to their guns, or will they fold like cheap suits, and the news council will end up a rubber stamp?

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