Click on 9-11 to view the full entry.
Click on Afghanistan War Reporting to view the full entry.
On November 24, 2006, the Associated Press reported a story attributed to a source named as police Capt. Jamil Hussein. The story later came to be referred to by many as the Burning Six incident. The AP named Hussein as a source for more than 60 other stories which reported Shiite-Sunni violence in Iraq. Efforts to verify the identity of Hussein went on for several months, with his existence being in question part of that time. Eventually it was discovered that Jamil Hussein was a pseudonym and a number of the events cited in the stories he sourced have now been disproved or called into question. This story is an example of the media using questionable sources. Click on Captain Jamil Hussein to view the full entry.
From the beginning of the U.S. led invasion of Iraq in 2003, some reports from the region were found to be inaccurate (some even false) or exaggerated, often due to suspect sources later found not to be credible. Examples listed at Media Mythbusters can be found at entries for Captain Jamil Hussein, Massacre at Um al-Abeed, Questionable Military Accounts and BBC.
Frida Ghitis of World Politics Review looked at Marvin Kalb's study of the news coverage in the Israel-Hezbollah War of 2006 in which he found the media went "from objective observer to fiery advocate" with Hezbollah completely controlling how journalists portrayed its side of the conflict, while Israel became "victimized by its own openness." After reviewing the study, Ghitis wrote that "with Hezbollah's unchallenged control of journalists' access within its territory, it managed to almost completely eliminate from the narrative crucial facts, such as the fact that it deliberately fired its weapons from deep within civilian population centers, counting on Israeli forces to have no choice but defend themselves by targeting rocket launchers where they stood. Hezbollah's strong support from Syria and Iran -- including the provision of deadly weapons -- faded in the coverage, as the conflict increasingly became portrayed as pitting one powerful army against a band of heroic defenders of a civilian population…" Click on Israel-Hezbollah War of 2006 to view the complete entry.
In April 2002, after Palestinian terrorists caused more than a hundred Israeli deaths in the preceding month alone, Israel launched Operation Defensive Shield. A significant part of this military effort was aimed at the Jenin refugee camp, a known terrorist headquarter. Within one day of the operation's start, Palestinian spokespeople were saturating the media with reports of a "massacre." The BBC was especially aggressive in reporting on the massacre, with the numbers of alleged dead increasing exponentially. On the first day, 30 were reported to have been massacred. Within a week, the BBC was publishing an analysis comparing Jenin to "the massacres at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon in 1982, in which at least 800 Palestinians died." The BBC also gave heavy play to hysterical reports from UN observers, who contended that the situation was "horrific beyond belief". Likewise, the BBC gave lead coverage to the International Committee for the Red Cross (which at that time was still refusing to admit Israel to its ranks), representatives of which contended that Israel was hiding the war dead. Amnesty International chimed in on the BBC's pages, with an Amnesty expert opining that, because there were bodies found under fallen buildings, there almost certainly was a massacre. And so the Jenin Massacre myth was born.
The Associated Press, Reuters, and a small Iraqi Independent news agency called Voice of Iraq released stories on June 28, 2007 about the massacre of 20 men near Salman Pak in Um al-Abeed. The men were supposedly found decapitated on the banks of the Tigris River. The only two sources for the Associated Press article were anonymous police, not located in Salman Pak, but from Baghdad (more than a dozen miles away) and Kut (more than 75 miles away). On June 30, 2007 Reuters reported that according to the U.S. military, the stories were "untrue and may have been planted by insurgents to provoke revenge attacks." Click on Massacre at Um al-Abeed to view full entry.
The term Pallywood is used to refer to media manipulation, including staged events reported as news, in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Click on Pallywood to view full entry.
News stories based on accounts from those in the military, or professing to be in the military, which were later found to be either in whole or in part fictional. Click on Questionable Military Accounts to view the full entry consisting of various individual stories.
The New Republic published a series (three stories) about the war in Iraq by a Baghdad diarist, a soldier going by the name of "Scott Thomas." Questions were asked about the authenticity of the claims, most notably by Michael Goldfarb at The Weekly Standard. Scott Thomas came forward and revealed his identity, Scott Thomas Beauchamp, and the Army investigated the matter of Beauchamp's stories. As of August 11, 2007, The New Republic stood by the Beauchamp stories they published (with an exception regarding some details). Click on Scott Thomas Beauchamp to view the full entry.
Coverage of debate over the issue of torture includes Obama administration release of Justice Department memos concerning "enhanced interrogation methods."
Liberal Media Attacks Military Families The Strata-Sphere, August 1, 2007