Roger L. Simon

Watching the Watchers

Wretchard has a characteristically provocative post today in which he wonders how Associated Press photographers just happened to be at the scene of the assassination of two Iraqi electoral officials the other day. After all, Baghdad is a city of over five million people. The odds are, indeed, extremely long–rather like my happening on a gang killing with my camera ready in Los Angeles. In my thirty-some years here that has never happened.

Wretchard reminds us of the disturbing story of the reporters for Paris Match who accompanied some terrorists on their mission to shoot down a DHL Airbus in 2003. Could this be a repeat? Of course, there could be some innocent explanation. The photographers were accompanying the electoral officials for some reason, perhaps. They were on the way to buy humus. But I think the Associated Press owes us an explanation in situations like this. If their photographers were notified of the assassination in advance and, instead of warning the electoral officials, chose to hurry to the scene with their cameras… well… we all make our judgments from there.

We should all be waiting for a clarification from the Associated Press. I invite them to make one here.