In a sense, they are right. Whether from sloppiness, laziness, incompetence or ideological bias, American journalists have played dupes or worse to jihadi propagandists for decades. Just a few weeks ago, a New York Times photography editor raved over her photographer Joao Silva's image of an al-Sadr army sniper posing in a window firing at U.S. troops. "Incredible courage," she panted. It's not clear whether she was talking about the photographer or the terrorist. The Associated Press has failed to respond to my repeated questions about one of its Iraqi stringers, Bilal Hussein, who was detained by the U.S. military in April after being captured in a Ramadi building with a cache of weapons, according to my sources. Hussein was part of a Pulitzer Prize-winning AP photography team.
From the fake "massacre" in Jenin, to the false accusations against Israel in the shooting of Palestinian boy Mohammed al-Dura, to the dissemination of "Pallywood" terrorist video productions, to the false labeling of executed Shiite fishermen in a Haditha sports stadium as victims of U.S. Marines, the Reuterization of war journalism goes far beyond Reuters.
Reuters can kill a few pictures, but it does not kill persistent doubts about the American media's ability to cover this war through anything but a distorted lens. The blogosphere can help clear the bogus smoke. Only the Old Media itself can stamp out the toxic fire.