Wednesday night, I received a call from my column syndicate, Creators Syndicate. The Associated Press had phoned my editor to inform her that it would be sending a response to my column about detained AP photographer Bilal Hussein. (Funny how quickly they respond now. Where have they been the past five months? Oh, right: Busy covering up the news about Hussein's April 12 capture by the military at a Ramadi apartment with an alleged al Qaeda leader and a weapons cache.) The AP asked my editor to supply its corporate communications office with my newspaper client list so it could disseminate its response.
Well, I am happy to help out the AP by sending it out as a bonus column to all my syndicate clients (I've also posted the statement on my blog.). The AP's non-response response is a very instructive, valuable and revealing document that I'd like all of you to see. It is as damning for what it says as for what it doesn't say. As you'll see, AP's statement abandons any attempt to address the key issues bloggers and my column have raised -- its questionable journalistic judgment in suppressing news of Hussein's detention for five months, its compromised neutrality, and its dangerous dependence on dubious local stringers embedded with the Iraqi insurgency. Instead, AP has written a little policy brief that calls into question the news organization's ability to be fair and impartial in its reporting on the capture, detention and interrogation of security detainees in Iraq and other fronts in the war on terror:
For publication in those newspapers who used the Malkin column in print or online:
September 20, 2006
Letter to the Editor:
Michelle Malkin's incendiary Sept. 20, 2006 column about Associated Press is filled with innuendo, distortion and factual error. This is not surprising because AP has found numerous inaccuracies and misrepresentations in Malkin's online blog references to AP photographer Bilal Hussein, who has been detained in Iraq for more than five months by the U.S. military without being charged. Malkin would deny Bilal due process and the rule of law by trying him in her column and assuming his guilt by mere association.