Columnist: Associated Press 'Has Lost Its Rudder'

December 3rd, 2006 11:23 AM

In today's Boston Herald, columnist Jules Crittenden calls on the mainstream media to confront the Associated Press over its "shoddy" work:

When a company defrauds its customers, or delivers shoddy goods, the customers sooner or later are going to take their business elsewhere. But if that company has a virtual monopoly, and offers something its customers must have, they may have no choice but to keep taking it.

That’s when the customers, en masse, need to raise a stink. That’s when someone else with the resources needs to seriously consider whether the time is ripe to compete.

The Associated Press is embroiled in a scandal. Conservative bloggers, the new media watchdogs, lifted a rock at the AP.

Crittenden isn't just talking about the recent flap over bogus Iraqi "police captain" Jamil Hussein; he cites a pattern of slipshod and outright anti-American reporting from the wire service.

The AP, once a just-the-facts news delivery service, has lost its rudder. It has become a partisan, anti-American news agency that seeks to undercut a wartime president and American soldiers in the field. It is providing fraudulent, shoddy goods. It doesn’t even recognize it has a problem.

Crittenden also reminds us that the Associated Press has been trying to cover up the fact that their photographer, Bilal Hussein, is in custody because he was captured red-handed in an al Qaeda terrorist facility.

The AP has another Iraqi stringer problem. Photographer Bilal Hussein is in U.S. custody, and the AP has been clamoring indignantly for his release. AP reports have buried the U.S. explanation that Hussein is being held without charge because - quite aside from producing photos that showed him to be overly intimate with terrorists in Fallujah - he was in an al-Qaeda bomb factory, with an al-Qaeda bombmaker, with traces of explosives on his person when he was arrested.

Crittenden calls on the AP's customers, the major news outlets, to demand better performance from the wire service.