Editor & Publisher Hails Find of AP's 'Capt. Jamil' of '6 Burning Iraqis' Fame, Taunts Bloggers

Editor and Publisher seems hardly able to hold back their excitement over the possibility that someone has found proof of the existence of the mysterious "Captain Jamil Hussein" who the Associated Press claimed as a source for the supposed burning of 6 Sunni Iraqis in retaliation for the depredations of that sect on their Shi'ite neighbors. In a Sunday posting on their site, E&P is crowing about "Conservative Bloggers in the U.S." eating crow.

Though far from definitive proof, it was strong enough to cause at least one conservative blogger to wonder if those who had mocked the AP might have to eat "a huge shinola sandwich." The tag for the story on the Hot Air home page currently reads, "Anyone got any good recipes for crow?"

It was a story that had no proof whatsoever except this "captain of Iraqi police" the AP quoted. There is no confirmation by any second source, nor any proof by Iraqi government sources or US Army sources. No physical evidence, or photographs. In fact the US Army disputed the story openly.But the story made a great splash and was widely cited by news services all across the western media as if it was totally verified. USA Today reported back on November 28th that "The Associated Press is standing by its report that six Sunni men were burned to death in Baghdad Friday by Shiites, even though U.S. military officials have accused the wire service of relying on a source who "is not who he claimed he was," an Iraqi police captain." Now,Marc Danziger of Winds of Change Blog posted the following on the 17th:

With the help of some friends who have been doing a smidgen of looking, and it appears - appears, but is not certain - that there is in fact a Jamail Hussein in the Yarmouk police station in Baghdad. We'll know more tomorrow.

Editor & Publisher seems to be relishing that Michelle Malkin and others will have to "eat crow" if it is proven that this captain does, indeed, exist. However, E&P seems to be missing the real story... as usual. The fact is, whether this Captain Hussein exists or not, there is still no corroboration for the story of six burned Iraqis. And, it has always been a staple of journalism that more than one source be required to publish a story reported as "fact". After all, if only ONE source is ever needed for a story, then anyone can publish anything as "fact" merely upon any single person's say so. I slept with Marilyn Monroe, ya know? Print that as fact, AP... just because I say so. Even though I was but a child when she was found dead. But this one source says it's true, so the AP MUST assume it could be fact! It is also interesting how E&P has jumped on a story that is reported as one being reported from "...some friends who have been doing a smidgen of looking, and it appears - appears, but is not certain..." How is this a story? With a may and a might and a could have been? Isn't this just what they are chiding the "Conservative Bloggers" and Michelle Malkin for? Not having proof in hand of the truth of their claims that Captain Hussein didn't exist before writing their posts? Isn't that exactly what E&P just did with a report that "appears - appears, but is not certain"? Further, did they not think that there could be more than a few Hussein's in Iraq, or any OTHER Muslim country for that matter, that could be a policeman? If E&P wanted to stick a finger in Malkin's and those "Conservative Blogger's" eyes, they might have wanted to be sure themselves of the truth of the matter! In the long run, E&P's "report" did nothing to clarify the situation and amounts to nothing but schoolyard finger pointing and an exercise of their own in mocking -- a thing they seem to be decrying in Malkin -- and they have opened themselves up to being slapped right back with claims of hypocrisy if this story of the found Captain Hussein turns out to be a false lead. Looks like Editor & Publisher was in need of an editor for their report! (See more at Michelle Malkin's HotAir blog)