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Eric Boehlert: Clown of the day

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By Michelle Malkin  •  December 12, 2006 03:55 PM

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Don’t you love farce?

Eric Boehlert has a post titled “Michelle Malkin fiddles while Baghdad burns” that’s making the rounds on the moonbat side of the blogosphere.

Bob Owens has a takedown of the Media Matters bloviator here:

In Michelle Malkin fiddles while Baghdad burns, Boehlert dishonestly addresses the continuing Associated Press scandal surrounding the “Burning Six” story that emerged from the Sunni enclave of Hurriyah in Baghdad on November 24.

By the next day, even more details had emerged in the AP’s story along with a description of why the alleged attacks finally ended.

Synthesize the various versions of the story, and you will have a horrific story of how Shia gunmen attacked while the Iraqi police and military stood by, without interfering, as four mosques were destroyed and as many as 18 people were killed, including six Sunni men pulled from a mosque and burned alive after being doused with kerosene. Only the arrival of American military units brought an end to the carnage.

But here’s the problem… there is little to no evidence that any of these events took place.

Contrary to the AP’s reporting, the Ahbab al-Mustafa, Nidaa Allah, al-Muhaimin and al-Qaqaqa mosques were never blown up. There is no evidence uncovered that a single soul, much less 18, were burned in an “inferno” at the al-Muhaimin mosque. In fact, soldiers from the 6th Iraqi Army Division found al-Muhaimin completely undamaged.

There is no evidence whatsoever that six men were pulled from a mosque under attack, doused in kerosene, set on fire, and then only shot once they quit moving.

Only the Nidaa Allah suffered minor fire damage from a Molotov cocktail, and no injuries were reported. The Iraqi Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Defense were apparently unable to discover any other physical evidence of any attacks in Hurriyah as the Associated Press, and only the Associated Press, claimed. Further, U.S. soldiers never intervened in Hurriyah on November 24.

The entirety of the Associated Press’ reporting on these alleged events relies on the testimony of two named sources and a handful of anonymous sources. Of those two sources, Sunni Imad al-Hashimi recanted his story after being interviewed by the Defense Ministry, leaving just one named source upon which the Associated Press was handing [its] credibility, Iraqi Police Captain Jamil Hussein.

As we now know, the Iraqi Interior Ministry has now gone on the record, declaring that they have no record of anyone by the name of Jamil Hussein employed as an Iraqi policeman, at any rank. They also disputed the records of more than a dozen other AP sources that claimed to be part of the Iraqi police for which they had no records.

…Boehlert, of course, is unsurprisingly disinterested as to why the Associated Press runs a story claiming the destruction of four mosques, the deaths of 18 people (six of them by immolation), or the allegations that Shiite military and police units allowed the attacks to take place. He quite purposefully leaves out the fact that all of the AP’s sources were anonymous, other than the one that recanted, and the other that was exposed as long-running fraud.

Like the AP, Eric Boehlert seems far more interested in protecting a narrative and attacking the messengers, than seeking to discover how the AP’s reporting could have been so horribly compromised.

Read it all. Couldn’t have said it better. I would add one thing that underscores Boehlert’s penchant for narrative protection over truth-telling. Apropos of nothing, he throws in a stupidly false charge against me that he has repeated in his book and previous blog posts:

It should be noted that Malkin’s breathless excitement over the AP story nearly matches the enthusiasm she used to spread online smears about the press in the spring of 2005 during the Terri Schiavo right-to-die controversy. That’s when Malkin backed the novel conspiracy theory that press reports about how congressional Republicans had drafted a talking-points memo in order to properly spin the Schiavo story were all wrong. In fact, according to Malkin’s fact-free analysis, an unknown Democratic operative had concocted the phony GOP talking-points memo and duped the media in order to make Republicans look bad.

Wrong.

He is such an idiot that he doesn’t even read the link that he includes to bolster his ridiculous charge.

I am the one who called a fellow conservative blogger to task for irresponsibly reporting that anonymous Republican sources had accused a Democrat staffer in Harry Reid’s office of being the source. If he had bothered to follow his own links, this clown would know that. Or maybe he did and it doesn’t matter. He’s got a narrative to protect.

Boehlert charges that “[W]arbloggers aren’t interested in an honest, factual debate about a single instance of journalistic accountability.”

Like he would know anything about honest, factual debates and journalistic accountability?

Snort.

***

See-Dubya weighs in on faith-based reporting and the leaps of logic you would have to make to leave your faith in the AP’s reporting unshaken.

Charles Johnson notes more messenger-blaming by LGF-bashers at Radar Online.

Helen at EU Referendum responds to Boehlert:

Well, it is good to know that Eric Boehlert thinks that AP should be held responsible for its reporting and there should be hell to pay etc etc. But, let’s face it, he is not advocating that AP start an inquiry (not that it has shown the slightest intention of doing so). That would be a witch hunt, I expect. What Mr Boehlert is trying to do is quite simple: drown the whole subject in nasty innuendos and attacks on the bloggers, who happen to have raised, not for the first time, an important issue of truth in reporting.

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