A note on the Times story

The New York Times story on the Pulitzer Prize awarded to the AP for breaking news photography records what we have written and reflects what I said through a glass darkly: “Blogs incensed over Pulitzer photo award.” You can read the message I wrote Mr. Glassman while he was working on the story in “Murder on Haifa Street: An update.” Mr. Glassman does not note that our comments to which he refers condemning the AP’s desire to let the terrorists tell their stories through photographers with connections to the terrorists derived from the AP itself.
After I sent the message to him yesterday, Mr. Glassman e-mailed me the link to the AP statement on the photo. He called to ask me whether we would be updating our site in light of the AP statement. I told him that I had not been aware of the AP statement and that we would write a new post linking to it. I called back and left a message letting him know that we had done so. Somehow this gets translated into the statement from me that “the A.P.’s explanation of what happened seemed plausible.” Sorry, I don’t know where that came from, unless it was Mr. Glassman’s statement to me that AP director of photography Santiago Lyon had told him the photographer was 50 meters from the assassination. That I did indeed find plausible, but Mr. Glassman wasn’t interested in it for the purposes of his story and you will find the statement reported nowhere but here.
Mr. Lyon’s response to our critique seems of the non-denial denial variety — it is “outrageous and implausible, given the high journalistic standards that we have.” Our critique, however, was based on the statement of the AP’s own director of media relations. And regular readers of this site know we have followed issues regarding the AP’s journalistic standards in a manner that suggests some disagreeement with Mr. Lyon’s self-assessment.
The story concludes with the observation that the Pulitzer jury was not aware of the controversy regarding the photo, according to juror Denis Finley. “I think it’s a valid criticism to say, ‘This is gruesome. This is horrible. What can we do about this?’ On the other hand, it’s a gruesome situation. It’s a war.” That answers the disbelieving question posed by Michelle Malkin (also quoted in the story): “Did they even bother to discuss the issues raised by the bloggers before bestowing the prize upon the A.P.? Were they ignorant of the controversy?” Answer: They were ignorant of the controversy.


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