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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

AP Admits to Photo Staging

The saga of Bilal Hussein, the AP photographer who specialized in photos of terrorists shooting at our soldiers, continues. Michelle Malkin has been following the story for months so I won't rehash the background here.

In response to bloggers discussing the story, the AP has issued a response to claims that Bilal Hussein was present at the execution of an Italian in Iraq. (hat tip to LGF) In trying to cover their own ass, the AP made a monumental admission. Read below and see if you find their admission of guilt...

"From The Associated Press, Corporate Communications
Some blogs are asserting that AP photographed and videotaped an execution of an Italian man named Salvatore Santoro near Ramadi, Iraq, in December of 2004. This is not true. The man was already dead by the time anyone working for The Associated Press was brought to see him. The photographs of the dead body, taken by Bilal Hussein, and the captions transmitted with those photos, appear below the following AP story filed on Dec. 16, 2004. This AP story explains that masked insurgents stopped Hussein and other AP journalists, including an AP video journalist, at a roadblock and took them to the site where the blindfolded body lay, already stiff with rigor mortis. They propped the body up and allowed the journalists to photograph and videotape it."

Did you catch it? Here is the damning statement - "they propped the body up and allowed the journalists to photograph and videotape it."

But, but, but.... Kathleen Carroll from the AP has been adamant that their photographers NEVER participate in the staging of photos. Here's some what Carroll had to say when the question of staged photos at Qana hit the blogosphere...

"It's hard to imagine how someone sitting in an air-conditioned office or broadcast studio many thousands of miles from the scene can decide what occurred on the ground with any degree of accuracy," said Kathleen Carroll, AP's senior vice president and executive editor."

"Carroll said in addition to personally speaking with photo editors, "I also know from 30 years of experience in this business that you can't get competitive journalists to participate in the kind of (staging) experience that is being described."

"Photographers are experienced in recognizing when someone is trying to stage something for their benefit, she said."

I am speechless and in shock! It’s not like the AP had a stringer in Qana who was also a Lebanese Red Cross Worker. It’s not like the AP focused almost solely on the negative reports in Iraq while ignoring many of the positive developments. OOPS – they DID do both those things…

Many of us have questioned the AP’s coverage of the terrorist point of view for some time now. Each time valid questions have been asked, Carroll and Company have been quick to come up with some lame excuse or attempt to deflect blame. The AP has sacrificed the truth for Pulitizer Prizes and front page stories. Now they need to explain to the families of soldiers murdered by terrorists why their photographers were complicit in the crimes. And when they are done, they can explain their actions to the American people.

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