Right Blogostan has been foaming at the cyber-mouth recently about the alleged pro-terrorist propaganda activities of ... the Associated Press. Their little jihad against AP had to do with a Baghdad police captain, Jamil Hussein, that AP had used as the source for a story about one violent incident on one day in the carnival of carnage that Baghdad is becoming. As Greg Sargent summarizes it at TAPPED, Wingnut assault against the Associated Press hits major snag: the facts 01/04/06:
The righty bloggers have struggled mightly to prove that the story was bogus, arguing that this "made up" story showed that the AP was treasonously devoted to spreading false news about how bad the war had gotten. They made this case mainly by pushing the idea that one source for the story, police captain Hussein, didn't exist, even though the AP stood fast by its story and even re-reported it by finding new witnesses to the atrocity.
The rightwingers have spent so many decades now fantasizing about a Liberal Press conspiracy that they often find themselves chasing their own tails. Or tales, as the case may be.
Unfortunately, loons pushing conspiracy notions like this have been driving the public political conversation to a large degree. It's important not to confuse two related issues: the real nature of press dysfunction in the US, and the loony rightwing conspiracy theories that have become Gospel for most Republicans.
An important element feeding this type of political-paranoid thinking is the obsession of the military with controlling news about their activities, especially the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, based on the broadly-held but false assumption that our infallible generals lost the Vietnam War primarily because of unfavorable news coverage in the US press.