Saturday, March 18, 2006

The Times Eats Crow -- But Still Doesn't Get It

The New York Times today ate a massive feast of crow, in an embarrassing front-page article and editor's note admitting that it had been suckered by a liar who claimed he was the famous "man in the hood" at Abu Gharib.

But while dining on a smorgasboard of black bird, the Times still doesn't get it. This piece, like an earlier unsigned article on the subject, still doesn't acknowledge the distinct possibility -- if not probability -- that nothing this man said was true and, again, obscuring his motive, which was clearly monetary. He is, after all, suing the government.

The story shows the extent to which the Times was sloppy in its reporting:
A lawsuit Mr. Qaissi joined, filed on July 27, 2004, also made no allegation that he was shocked with wires or forced to stand on a box. That allegation appeared only on an amended version of a complaint he later joined, filed last month, which said he had been forced to stand on the box and fell off from the shocks of the electrocution: "They repeated this at least five times."
Unfortunately, this red flag sailed right past the Times reporter who wrote this story, house terrorism apologist Hassan Fattah, who was too gullible and too anxious to embarrass the U.S. military with his "scoop."

Times management will probably try to shift all the blame for this humiliation to Fattah. The issue, however, is not one reporter's sloppiness or gullibility, but rather a system that is all too eager to skew the military and publish anti-American swill without even elementary checking.

P.S. Oh, one interesting aspect of this story is that, so far, it has received virtually no coverage whatsoever from the supposed journalism watchdogs -- a small item on March 13 in the rabidly left-wing Romenesko, and not one word from the atrocious CJR Daily. The latter seems to be scurrying around after trivia, blog-bashing and deviation from left-wing dogma. Massive Timesian malfeasance just ain't on the radar.

More on the daily miracle of CJR in this new item.


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