The New York Times does it again

As part of its multi-year campaign to make sure that the American people stand firmly behind our nation’s favorite crack-smoking, draft-dodging frat boy, the good ole’ NY Times brought us the harrowing tale Jumana Michael Hanna, the woman who reported on the widespread rape and torture being conducted by Saddam’s police force. And it would have been a pretty damn good story, if not for the minor detail that it was total bullshit.

Of course, we all know that conservatives are fully dedicated to the principles of good journalism. So pretty soon they’ll all be calling up the NY Times and demanding that the people responsible for conflating this work of fiction with fact are removed and replaced by competent people. Yup, that’s going to be happening any minute now. No doubt about it. Just you wait and see. Honestly.

What does this have to do with conservatives again? Do you even know this guy’s political affiliation, as I don’t exactly see the NYT in the same image as yourself.

New York Times, January 21, 2005

Iraqi Refugee’s Tale of Abuse Dissolves Upon Later Scrutiny


But Ms. Hanna’s story, which 10 days before Mr. Wolfowitz’s testimony had been the subject of a front-page article in The Washington Post, appears to have unraveled. Esquire magazine, in its January issue, published a lengthy article, by a writer who was hired to help Ms. Hanna produce a memoir, saying that her account had all but fallen apart.

I’m not sure what Esquire uncovering bad reporting at the Washinton Post has to do with the NYT, but whatever…

For anyone interested in whatever ITR is going on about, here’s the same story from USAToday (no registration required)

Beyond sloppy journalism and politicians being capable of creating spin, I don’t see much.


Well, to be honest, while the newspapers might have made a greater effort to dig deeper into the story, it’s a little hard to blame them for not spotting the lies when they were given much less information than the woman who did finally unravel the tale.

Sara Solovitch interviewed this woman over an extended period, and the woman gave Solovitch many “details” that she had not given to the Post. It was only after adding up all these details and teasing out the inconsistencies that Solovitch was able to expose the lies. As is so often the case, it’s easy to tell a lie as long as you keep your story simpe, but the more complicated things get, the more likely you are to be tripped up.

Also, it’s not only the journalists who were fooled. As the story notes, high-ranking government officials also jumped on the story. I guess it’s possible that they were just boosting the story in order to gain support for their policies in Iraq, but i have a hard time believing that anyone in the Bush administration could be so wilfully deceitful.

It’s happening now though

Doesn’t it just make your chest poof up with pride?

About a dozen years ago, when the First President Bush was drumming up support for the First War Against Saddam Hussein, a woman testified before Congress. She said she was a nurse in a Kuwaiti hospital, and she told of Iraqi soldiers invading the hospital, tossing premature babies out of their special cribs onto the floor. Congress, with tears in their eyes, approved the war, which chased out the Iraqis and reinstated…democracy? No. The Kuwaiti royal family.

After the war, we found out the woman’s story was all lies. Those who don’t remember history are doomed to…uh…I don’t remember. :smack:

In fact, the woman who testified about the incubators and the Iraqi soldiers turned out to be the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the US.