Following up on a reader tip, I looked into one of the AP’s reporters, Bassem Mroue. Mroue has a personal blog full of anti-Israeli sentiments including this photo providing some insight as to what Mroue thinks Israel’s goals have been in its conflict with Hezbollah:
Also, from this post, “Lebanon After Cease Fire”:
When Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert launched the wide war under the pretext of the capturing of two Israeli soldiers on the border, it was clear to many here that Israel is not going to win this war despite having the strongest army in the Middle East.
Mroue apparently thinks that Israel “launched” (i.e. started) this war. MyPetJawa had more on this back in July. Apparently, in the fallout from that coverage, Mroue deleted many of his more inflammatory posts.
What’s potentially damning for the Associated Press, however, is something called “AP Blog” — a seemingly syndicated collection of reports from different AP reporters around the globe. This AP Blog in particular caught my eye:
I took a flak jacket and a helmet then went to Hadi Nasrallah street and the closer we go to the end of the road the more destruction we saw. As I left the car and looked around, Haret Hreik looked more like an area destroyed by an earthquake rather than by aerial bombardment.
That is almost an exact copy-and-paste from this blog entry on Mroue’s personal site:
I took a flak jacket and a helmet then went to Hadi Nasrallah street, named after Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah’s son, who was killed by Israeli soldiers in 1997. The closer we got to the end of the road, the more destruction we saw. As I left the car and looked around Haret Hreik, a neighborhood of Beirut’s southern suburbs, looked more like an area destroyed by an earthquake rather than by aerial bombardment.
It’s unclear of the Associated Press took Mroue’s blog entry and modified it for distribution, or if Mroue himself edited out parts of his blog entry and submitted it to the AP. Either way, this isn’t good for the AP’s claim to unbiased news reporting, especially given everything else on Mroue’s site.