The best thing about the blogosphere is that when you make claims in news stories, someone’s going to be there to fact-check your ass in a heartbeat. And while it shouldn’t put people off from holding strong views, it should make them wary of throwing “facts” out there that they can’t back up in any manner. Such snarky commentary about photos of dead Lebanese has come back to bite WSJ Opinion Journal writer Jamer Taranto square in the ass:
It’s a little hard to see exactly what’s going on at this size, but as luck would have it the Washington Post used the photo on its July 31 front page, and a sharp-eyed reader scanned it for us. Here’s an enlargement of the portion in question:
It’s a bit reminiscent of “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” (The Dead Body That Claims It Isn’t: “I’m getting better.”)
Plainly this scene was staged for the benefit of the cameras, though it is important to note we know of no evidence that the photographer was complicit in the staging. It is, however, a clear example of how terrorist groups use journalists to spread their propaganda.
Except it’s not funny, it’s rigor mortis, and his apology is uberweak at best:
(Update:offers pretty convincing evidence that we were mistaken.)
Look, I understand we all want to get a different angle on the same stories, but when you fuck up… fess up… and be upstanding enough to admit that you were playing your angle too hard and will take your blunder into consideration in future stories (the guy linked in the update took that bitter pill like a man).
The bigger the blunder, the bigger your mea culpa should be (in my book, pointing at the dead and laughing is pretty twisted). Otherwise your errors become the story themself (and gets blogged at places like this site).