The Jamil Hussein saga has finally hit the pages of the New York Times. And what a smug, circle-the-wagons piece it is, too.
Read it all to get the full flavor, but for now, this morsel of Big Media arrogance accurately captures the attitude:
It is also true that the institution conducting America’s multibillion gamble in Iraq — the military — says that this standout of atrocities never happened, while a venerable, trusted news agency has twice interviewed witnesses who said, in extensive, vivid detail, that it did.
Note the differing descriptions of the two sides. Is there any doubt in your mind where the author of the piece comes down?
Of course, the witnesses are unnamed. But there is a “venerable, trusted news agency” behind their anonymous assertions, so rest easy. Anonymous sources have never been wrong before! And anyway, they couldn’t come up with “extensive, vivid detail” unless it were true.
The piece also says that, according to the AP‘s executive editor, “the agency had already done all it could to respond to the uncertainties by vigorously re-reporting the article . . . .” The author of the New York Times piece seems to agree. Apparently it never occurred to either of these stellar journalists that there is, in fact, one thing the AP could do — but, notably, hasn’t. And that is to produce Jamil Hussein.
Curt from Flopping Aces responds here. A good portion of the rest of the blogosphere is about to follow right behind him.