Media Blog

AP Promotes Two Reporters Involved in Jamil Hussein Controversy

Two AP reporters involved in the controversy over disputed source Jamil Hussein have been promoted:

In just eight months, Iraqi Police Captain Jamil Hussein was cited as a source in stories by 17 named AP reporters, and also appeared in several stories where no byline was given. To the best we can determine, he has never been cited by another news organization, at any time.
Since his authenticity was thrown in doubt, the fabled Iraqi Police Captain has completely disappeared from AP reporting, except for the AP’s denials that he is the fraud that the Iraqi interior ministry says he is. The captain, if he is real, would have likely come forward by now to clear his name. He has not.
At the current level of controversy, it might be prudent for these 17 Associated Press reporters, AP international editor John Daniszewski, and AP Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll to each go on the record and establish the details, dates and locations of their relationship with alleged Iraqi Police Captain Jamil Hussein that they have so vigorously defended.
Daniszewski and Carroll should also explain why, when there is so much suspicion that the Associated Press has been duped by a series of false witnesses tied to a flawed string-based news gathering methodology, that the AP promoted two of the reporters involved in this controversy. […]
In most any line of work, discovering that two actors were promoted after it was revealed they were in some way involved in a scandal, would create a scandal of its own. Many people might assume that their superiors might be trying to buy their silence. That suspicion would only grow if those people were promoted to positions that didn’t previously exist.

Again, I return to the AP’s two profiles of Salam Daher (a.k.a. Green Helmet Guy), which it rapidly produced when his identity was brought into question. If Jamil Hussein really is a police captain — which both CENTCOM and the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior deny — why can’t the AP produce anything to substantiate that claim?
Who knows? Instead, the AP is blaming the whole thing on conservative bloggers and quietly promoting reporters involved in the controversy. That strategy seems designed to provoke more questions about the AP’s reporting, not fewer.