Dispatches from the dayroom

Warbloggers covering the war
(LGF’s Charles Johnson in the center wearing a headband)

Not since the OU Bomber case (which panned out as expected) have the Nancy Drews and Hardy Boys of the Basement Set been so feverish about solving one of the Great Mysteries of Universe…and all of it from the comfort of their spare bedroom/office/Red Bull & Fritos Freak-Out room.

We speak, of course, of Jamilgate (as Gun Counter Gomer calls it) and if you haven’t heard about Jamilgate, well that must mean that you have a life. According to Curt the Mall Cop at Flopping Aces, it’s the AP’s month to be the Islamojihadifarian’s bestest buddy displacing Reuters, the New York Times, and CNN; all news organizations with reputations for whoring around with terrorists who want to destroy Pamela Oshry’s way of life…such as it is.

In the case of Jamilgate they have found a handy boogeyman under the bed that precludes them from having to get up out of bed and smell the coffee which smells a lot like Iraq burning. For example:

Baghdad . — at 8 o’clock this morning an IED exploded in al zafaraniah area southern Baghdad, 6 civilians were injured.

Where’s Jamil?

– at 9 o’clock this morning 4 employees of the ministry of industry were taking the salaries from al zuiah bank in karada area back to the ministry when unknown gunmen driving 4 vehicles stopped their car near abdul majeed private hospital and force them out from their car and took the car with one billion and two hundred million dinar.

Who is Jamil?

– the actor MITASHAR AL SUDAMI was found dead today on haifa street, he as kidnapped yesterday.

Um, Jamil? Anyone?

— today 53 bodies were found in Baghdad, some were handcuffed and tortured. 3 bodies were found in sadr city, 2 kamaliyah, 1 hussainiyah, 1 talbiyah, 1 aour, 5 dora, 4 kadhumiah, 4 hurriyah, 2 adil, 6 amil, 3 bayaa, 2 saidiyah, 2 risalah, 3 abu atsheer, 3 jihad, 1 mansour, 4 shoala, 5 ghazaliyah,and 1 yarmouk .

Any of them named Jamil? We’ll also settle for Jamail, Juwanna, Ishmael, Bueller or D’Brickashaw….

As Eric Boehlert puts it:

Rather than being content with a possible sharp-eyed press catch and holding the AP accountable for questionable sourcing in an isolated incident, warbloggers, in need of a much larger scapegoat, franticly inflated the Burned Alive story, insisting questions about a single dispatch could negate years’ worth of reporting from Iraq. That if Jamil Hussein were confirmed to be a fraud that would somehow mean Baghdad is not being ripped apart by a civil war, and reporters would be revealed for the “traitors” that they are.

The warbloggers’ strawman is built around the claim that if the AP hadn’t reported the Burned Alive story, which was no more than a few sentences within a larger here’s-the-carnage-from-Baghdad-today article, then Americans would still gladly support the war in Iraq. That it was somehow the contested Burned Alive story that swung public opinion on Iraq, not the three years’ worth of bad news.

Chasing the Burned Alive story down a rabbit’s hole, giddy warbloggers deliberately ignore the hundreds of Iraqi civilians who are killed each week, the thousands who are injured, and the tens of thousands who try to flee the disintegrating country. None of that matters. Only Burned Alive matters, as if an AP retraction would change a thing on the ground in Baghdad, where electricity remains scarce, but sectarian death squads roam freely.

The story reached such a Holy Grail status that Malkin announced her plans to parachute into Baghdad and gumshoe the story herself. Note to Malkin: You might want to re-read this recent quote from ABC’s man-in-Baghdad, Dan Harris: “I said to my driver casually the other day, ‘If I get out of this car, take off my flak jacket or get rid of all my security and walk down the street, how long would I last?’ He said, ‘Four or five seconds.’ “

Unfortunately, given her widely read blog and her platform as a Fox News analyst, Malkin has influenced a new generation of right-wing press critics, who sloppily draw all sorts of dark and dishonest conclusions about the press. The phenomenon has been rampant during the Hussein controversy.

So why do they come up with these hair-up-their-ass theories?

Mark Fenster:

“Conspiracy theory as a theory of power, then, is an ideological misrecognition of power relations, articulated to but neither defining nor defined by populism, interpellating believers as “the people” opposed to a relatively secret, elite “power bloc.” Yet such a definition does not exhaust conspiracy theory’s significance in contemporary politics and culture; as with populism, the interpellation of “the people” opposed to the “power bloc” plays a crucial role in any movement for social change. Moreover, as I have argued, just because overarching conspiracy theories are wrong does not mean they are not on to something. Specifically, they ideologically address real structural inequities, and constitute a response to a withering civil society and the concentration of the ownership of the means of production, which together leave the political subject without the ability to be recognized or to signify in the public realm.”

Shorter version: Time Magazine award or no Time magazine award, it’s a cry for attention.


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Yeah. Like I would tell you....