Thursday, July 19, 2007

More questions on story of baked Iraqi child

WorldNetDaily, the conservative website, interviewed Michael Yon recently about his story of the baked child -- a child, he claimed, that al Qaeda served to his parents. He emails WND:

Perhaps it's urban legend. I have no idea. But my reporting was spot on. … I quoted someone and offered zero opinion. [ellipses in original]

Well, that's a telling statement. Moreover: "My reporting was spot on"?!! This, I'm afraid, is complete nonsense. As I've pointed out before, with claims this fantastic, it is incumbent on the reporter to nail down the facts before printing. If the AP -- an organization that Yon and his brethren have excoriated consistently for their sloppiness and sloth -- played this game of "I heard a rumor" would Yon be so easy on them? I think not.

You want to be taken seriously? Do some more reporting on the matter, come back to me with some real facts, some real witnesses, some real dates, and something other than the word of one anonymous Iraqi official who may or may not have an agenda to advance with this sort of tale. If you have the goods, show me.

Relatedly, WND claims to have found another tale of another boy baked and served to his family (this time beheaded, roasted, and served on a bed of rice!), from 2006. There is no sourcing on the matter, just a tale relayed as Word-of-God fact. Hilariously, WND takes this as further confirmation that Yon's tale is accurate, not just a permutation of what increasingly sounds like -- yes -- an urban legend.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 8:51 AM

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