Bogus Baghdad Photo & Blaming the Messenger?
Is the media lying about the state of Iraq? I don't know, but Howard Kaloogian did. From Editor &: Publisher, a newspaper trade magazine:
How far will critics of media coverage of the Iraq war go to prove reporters are wrongly focusing on the negative?
One answer came this week, in a shocking if amusing episode featuring one Howard Kaloogian, a leading Republican running for the seat in Congress recently vacated by indicted Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham.
Kaloogian posted on the official Web site for his campaign a picture taken in "downtown Baghdad," he said, during his visit to the city, which supposedly indicated that the media was wrong about the level of violence there.
"We took this photo of downtown Baghdad while we were in Iraq," he wrote. "Iraq (including Baghdad) is much more calm and stable than what many people believe it to be. But, each day the news media finds any violence occurring in the country and screams and shouts about it - in part because many journalists are opposed to the U.S. effort to fight terrorism."
Tipped off by someone who recognized the actual intersection in Turkey, Jem went through online photo galleries and in a matter of minutes today found a snap taken by a "Faruk" that lined up with the "Baghdad" photo in numerous conclusive ways. Game, set, and match to the blogosphere.
But that's not all...
Here's Kaloogian's response:
"My campaign mistakenly mislabeled a photograph as being from Baghdad, Iraq when it is in fact from Istanbul, Turkey. Immediately after I realized this error I had the photograph replaced with one we took from Baghdad.
"I made a mistake in posting the wrong picture, and I accept full responsibility for it.
"However, the anti-war activists who are supporting Democrat Francine Busby are trying to use this clerical mistake as justification for opposing the war. How silly.
"I will not apologize for supporting the missions our troops are serving in Iraq.
"I will not apologize for traveling to Iraq to afford our troops the opportunity to report back home the progress being made that is not being reported by the mainstream news media.
"I will not back down from supporting the mission our troops are serving in Iraq to defeat the terrorist threat. By bringing stability, democracy and freedom to the people who were long terrorized by the brutal dictator, Saddam Hussein, and eliminating safe havens for terrorists, we are ensuring American security at home.
"And, most importantly, I will not allow Francine Busby, her "Blame America First" friends, and the anti-military contingent to undermine America's support for our military men and women and their mission in Iraq."
Ummm... So, his campaign made a mistake, but it's his opponent's fault? Somehow?