Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Wire services and news in Diwaniyah

Now Reuters is clueless, we knew that, but I begin to wonder if the MSM isn't deliberately excising coverage of the Coalition of the Willing (among other sins). Case in point : Operation Black Eagle in Diwaniyah. The first photo has had plenty of exposure on internet news stories, the second is pretty much unseen. Perhaps the composition is worse. Maybe the intended US audiences aren't too interested in foreigners anyway. But maybe left leaning media outlets want to minimise the Coalition of the Willing? Try to find examples of coalition soldiers doing much of anything in Iraq in the MSM, there is very very little except for fatalities which the MSM reports with alacrity. Now compare these two photos [1] [2] :

A U.S. military convoy drives through Diwaniyah, 130 kilometers (80 miles) south of Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, April 6, 2007. Iraqi forces backed by American soldiers swept into a troubled, predominantly Shiite city south of Baghdad before dawn Friday, and the U.S. military said as many as six militia fighters had been killed. (AP Photo/Jalal Mudhar)

AP via Yahoo! News - Apr 06 11:09 AM

A soldier from the multi-national forces stands guard while U.S. armoured vehicles patrol a street in Diwaniya, 180 km (112 miles) south of Baghdad, April 6, 2007. Iraqi and U.S. troops on Friday moved into the southern city of Diwaniya, a stronghold of Shi'ite militia loyal to anti-American cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, in an operation to curb the militia's increasing influence. REUTERS/Imad al-Khozai (IRAQ)

Reuters via Yahoo! News - Apr 06 10:50 AM
That slippery Diwaniyah shifts 50km depending on which wire service you believe. I guess it depends how you measure it, maybe one is road miles and the other crow miles.

The multinational soldier is Latvian, again the unique Latvian digital desert cam, and see the flag on the sleeve pocket. A closer view would reveal "LATVIA" written above the flag. Photographer "Imad" obviously has trouble with reading and/or geography since he was the one who photographed the "Bolivian" soldier in Diwaniyah the following day.

Those two photographs were either taken seconds apart by one camera, or more or less simultaneously from two places. They are from two different wire services, with supposedly two different photographers, and both spell "Diwaniya-/-h" differently. So two local stringers were standing shoulder to shoulder like good friends shooting away? Unless .... nah, couldn't possibly be that the wire services are being taken for a ride?

Are there any more examples? How about these photos [1] [2]?

An Iraqi soldier patrols the deserted streets in Diwaniyah, 130 kilometers (80 miles) south of Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, April 9, 2007. American troops continued operations in Diwaniyah on Monday, detaining four guards at the office of a Shiite political party and scouring two neighborhoods in the city's northern and eastern sections, police said. At least 24 suspects were detained and one civilian was killed, police said. U.S. officials had no immediate comment. (AP Photo/Jalal Mudhar)
AP via Yahoo! News - Apr 09 8:57 AM

An Iraqi soldier searches for snipers in a street in Diwaniya, 180 km (112 miles) south of Baghdad, April 7, 2007. U.S. forces launched an air strike in the volatile Iraqi city of Diwaniya on Saturday amid sporadic gunbattles between Shi'ite militiamen and U.S. and Iraqi forces seeking to return the city to government control. (Imad al-Khozai/Reuters)
Reuters via Yahoo! News - Apr 07 3:33 PM
But that appears to be the same guy, in an similar pose, in stories filed two days apart. Look at the face, arms bands, silver watch, webbing, the position and pattern of the cam on the vest relative to the webbing is identical. That is the same guy. He is "patrolling" in the first and "searching for snipers" in the second, doing neither very convincingly. Weird huh? Either its a remarkable coincidence or it is staged and/or mislabelled and mis-dated.

Maybe Imad and Jalal are buddies, they travel together and photograph stuff. Or do they just stage together, and inaccurately mislabel the photos as required to fit the moment and the wire services bite? Or does Jalal, who seems to travel (he has photos from many different cities in Iraq) borrow unattributed (staged) shots from his buddy Imad in Diwaniyah?

Hard to say. I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation, but IMHO its just more symptoms of the disease that infects AP and Reuters (and the MSM in general). Pathetic fact checking, reliance on unaccountable crooked stringers, embedded political bias. News that's skewed even if nothing is faked.


Darren Duvall said...

Latvians use M4s? At least, that looks like a M16-family magazine to me...makes sense from a commonality/logistics standpoint.

Who knew?

Darren Duvall said...

PS: As an American -- thanks for the help over there.


Doug said...

Where's the smoke?
Where are the stuffed Toys?
Where's the guy with the Orange Helmet?

Fellow Peacekeeper said...

Darren : He is armed wioth a H&K G-36, and sadly, although similarly shaped the magazines are not M-16 compatible.

Doug : The incident was trivial, but they could put the Green Helmet Guy in there and the wire services would notice only after a deluge of blogosphere complaints.

Darren Duvall said...

G-36 is a good piece of gear from what I read. Hope it's working out for you.

2164th said...

Great post fellow.

Doug said...

But we still need the hysterical hijab lady.
Should we send you one of the cardboard cutouts?