AP puts violent words in mouths of Iraqi victims
ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Thu May 8 20:09:07 MDT 2003
Associated Press Puts Violent Words in Iraqi Protesters' Mouths
06 May 2003 by Russ Kick, The Memory Hole (rescuing knowledge, freeing
Photo of banner - http://www.thememoryhole.org/media/banner-ap-photo.jpg
On 30 April 2003, the Associated Press newswire carried the photo above
and a related article headlined, "U.S. Troops Fire on Iraq Protesters
Again." The story concerned the second time US forces had shot Iraqis
engaged in anti-US protests, this time killing two of them and wounding 18.
Funny thing is, this article misreported the banner pictured above. As
you can see, AP's own photograph shows the sentence: "Sooner or later US
killers we'll kick you out." But this is how AP reported it:
"Sooner or later US killers we'll kill you," read an angry banner in
English unfurled in the faces of GIs on guard in the central city.
Below is the portion as it ran on ABC News' Website.
(Click here to go to the ABC News page
-http://abcnews.go.com/wire/World/ap20030430_2214.html , or click here
for a mirror page on The Memory Hole
Let's just say that there's more than a shade of difference between
"we'll kick you out" and "we'll kill you."
This article ran, most often without the photo, in dozens of news
Websites around the US and the rest of the world, including USA Today,
ABCNews.com, CBS News, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago
Sun-Times, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Ha'aretz (Israel), Guardian
(London), Globe and Mail (Toronto), and dozens of local newspapers.
There's no telling how many printed papers ran it. The screenshot below
from Google News shows some of the news sites that ran the
inflammatorily wrong information:
As it often does, the Associated Press ran several versions of this
article. Five, to be exact. A search of Washington Post's site--which
carries the raw AP newswire--shows them in reverse chronological order:
It isn't until the final version--published the next day, 01 May--that
they corrected the article. By then, of course, it was too late. The
first four versions of the article were already running around the world.
Another Google News search shows that as of 11:30 PM EST, 05 May, only
11 outlets had picked up the corrected story, compared to 50 for the
original (wrong) versions.
For good measure, here's Agence France-Presse's photo of the banner:
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