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January 02, 2007

Katty Carroll To Critics: Drop Dead

Unbelievable:

Kathleen Carroll, AP executive editor, told E&P today that she had not read Jordan's latest item, posted Monday, and likely would not. But she stood by the news organization's previous statements backing the existence of an Iraqi police captain, Jamail Hussein.

She won't even read it?

"I've been pretty public about what we have done to get to the crux of the criticism we have gotten about it," she added. When asked about critics' demands that AP produce Hussein to prove his existence, she said "that area [where he works] has pretty much been ethnically cleansed, it is a nasty place and continues to be."

Ummm... you're providing what you claim is his name (Jamil Hussein) and his title (Captain of Police) and now you're suggesting you can't produce him, lest you put his life in danger?

Carroll said that Hussein "is a guy weíve talked to for years," adding that "we donít have anything new to say about it, nothing new to add."

Linda Wagner, AP's director of media relations and public affairs, said she had just seen Jordan's post, but did not expect to have more to say about it. She said "it would be highly unusual for any news organization to provide sources on the demands of critics."

The trouble is, darling, you have "produced" him, by name and title, and yet no one else in the entire world can find him.

"Captain of Police" is not an obscure job. He is not being cited anonymously. He is not a secret source like Deep Throat.

If he exists, other people should be able to easily confirm this.

But they can't. Only AP says they've met him. Only AP says they've visited his offices.

Why is that?

If this is actually a pseudonym, then AP had a responsibility to admit that fact. They can't just make up names and pass them off as real.

Linda Wagner (who didn't bother responding to an email question about this) is blithely unconcerned over why no one in the world, except for AP, has heard of this supposed "Captain of Police:"

When asked about the fact that no other major news outlet appears to have been using Hussein as a source, Wagner said, "whether he might be used as an anonymous source by someone else, I donít know." She added that having a source that is not used by others may not be unusual in a war zone.

Doesn't know, doesn't care. A bit of the ol' intellectual incuriosity, no?

Enron, baby.

Ms. Wagner and Ms. Carroll, prepare your resumes. You're going to be AP's fall-gals on this, and you'll have no defenders whatsoever, given your haughty and high-handed dismissal of quite-legitimate concerns about this "source."



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posted by Ace at 01:09 PM

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