May 12, 2004

PORN PHOTOS PRESENTED AS FROM IRAQ AT THE BOSTON GLOBE? That's what Bryan Preston is reporting. (Message to Globe editors: Read Fleshbot and you won't be so easily fooled -- tell the boss it's work-related!) Then there's this fakery:

Frauds Try to Exploit Iraq Abuse Scandal

Fallujah native Abdul-Qader Abdul-Rahman al-Ani, his left elbow wrapped in bandages, his right forearm bound in a cast, recounted how he was beaten by soldiers who picked him up last month. The soldiers tied him and two others arrested with him to a tree and sodomized them one after the other, he told journalists.

"I ask President Bush," he said. "Does he agree with this?"

As Ani, 47, repeated his story, he was interrupted by Jabber al-Okaili, a member of one of the human rights groups that organized the gathering. "He's lying," al-Okaili shouted. "He's a liar!"

Al-Ani was rushed to an office, where al-Okaili and others unwound the bandage on his left arm and found the elbow unscarred and healthy.

(Via Tim Blair, who notes that German TV shows the footage without the revealing-the-fake part.) You know, if people keep this stuff up, the Abu Ghraib incidents aren't going to be taken as seriously as they deserve.

UPDATE: LT Smash has thoughts on perspective.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Dan Kennedy offers background and context on the Globe fiasco. Meanwhile Boston reader Marybeth Hayes emails:

The Boston Globe has really sunk lower than low. Not only does the article (the reporter covered a news conference held by a Boston city coucilor) describe the photographs "showing US soldiers raping Iraqi women," THERE'S A PICTURE OF THE PHOTOGRAPHS !!!

Unbelievable. The picture shows a local activist and the city councilor holding up a posterboard with the photos. They handed out photographs to reporters. The Globe will definitely hear from many angry readers about those ridiculous photos!!

The photos are not on the Globe's website, but they're prominently placed in the newspaper.

I don't know parents manage to explain this stuff to their kids. Yuckkk!!!

Kennedy makes the photos sound less graphic, and less prominent, than Hayes does. Not having seen the print edition, I can't offer an opinion, except that this is clearly an embarrassment for the Globe regardless. Though as Kennedy notes, it's a bigger embarrassment for the Boston politician, Chuck Turner, who was distributing the photos. No doubt the Globe will be making that point, too.

I will say that, in general, I've found the Globe's reporting that I've followed to be trustworthy and, especially compared to the New York Times, un-slanted.

YET ANOTHER UPDATE: Here, courtesy of Drudge, is a scan of the Globe print edition. It's not work safe, which I think answers the question above. And the depiction is clear enough that I don't think the Globe deserves to be let off the hook -- this wasn't accidental.