August 15, 2007

Stupid Media Tricks

A number of blogs have already hit this, so let me jump on the bandwagon and post about the cluelessness Agence France Presse demonstrated in posting this picture and caption:


What's the most obvious conclusion one can draw from this picture? The bullets have never been fired. The actual bullet portions are the tips of these cartridges; the casings themselves have the powder which creates the fire that propels the bullets through the barrel of the rifle and out towards the target.

I explain it that carefully because AFP's photographer clearly doesn't know one end of the rifle from another. Neither, for that matter, do AFP's Layers of Editors and FactcheckersTM. Anyone who has ever fired a rifle, or seen one fired, would have immediately known the difference. The abject failure to comprehend the basic fact that these bullets could not possibly have been shot through a wall into the woman's bed reveals not just ignorance, but a malevolent willful determination to remain ignorant.

But hey, don't just take my word for it -- here are the bloggers who sniffed this out:

  • Bob Owens put together the picture and investigated the bullets themselves.
  • Uncle Jimbo caught AFP pressing this meme once too often.
  • Rocco gives a lesson on fired vs unfired bullets for people lacking in common sense, and AFP editors, if you'll pardon the redundancy.
  • Gateway Pundit gets expert analysis, just in case anyone really thinks this bullet and the entire cartridge passed through the barrel of a rifle.
  • Bryan at Hot Air has more links.
  • If anyone has anything more, I'll add the links later.


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    Comments (63)

    Posted by Mathew | August 15, 2007 4:38 PM

    You misspelled "fired" in your post,

    "Anyone who has ever filed a rifle"

    Posted by docjim505 | August 15, 2007 4:39 PM

    Cap'n Ed wrote:

    Anyone who has ever filed a rifle, or seen one fired, would have immediately known the difference. The abject failure to comprehend the basic fact that these bullets could not possibly have been shot through a wall into the woman's bed reveals not just ignorance, but a malevolent willful determination to remain ignorant.

    But that's exactly the problem: the vast majority of AFP's readers have NEVER fired a rifle or seen one fired. They know no more about guns than they do about the far side of the Moon. All they see is a woman holding bullets and complaining that nasty ol' Americans shot into her house. Given the tenor of the international coverage of the Iraq war, most readers will find her claims totally believable. After all, she's holding the bullets in her hand!

    As a side note, I don't think that these are US issue catridges. For one thing, the tips are not colored (M-855 ball ammo, the standard fired by the M-16 rifle and the M-4 carbine, has a green tip). For another, the brass does not appear to be annealed (no dark ring around the shoulder of the case) as is common in the military issue 5.56mm cartridges I've seen and fired in my time. They also don't look like 7.62x39mm cartridges fired by the AKM-type rifle: they are too narrow, the bullet is too small relative to the cartridge case, and most rounds of that type that I've seen have a lacquered steel case (usually green colored) rather than a brass case. They COULD be M-193 ball cartridges, but these are no longer standard in our military or in any NATO army that I know of.

    I'm sure that other commenters here have more expertise, and I'm eager to see their opinions.

    Posted by Bouncing Beatnik | August 15, 2007 4:40 PM

    "Stop throwing bullets at me!" FrankJ, at the top of his game.

    Posted by Exurban Jon | August 15, 2007 4:53 PM

    It's worse than you think! Apparently the eeeevil Americans used depleted uranium bullets!!!

    Posted by Tom Shipley | August 15, 2007 4:54 PM

    Uh, Ed,

    The caption says the woman claims these bullets hit her house. It doesn't say they did hit her house.

    You should be addressing the woman, not the AFP.

    This is a prime example of the right-wing blogosphere getting all up in a lather over nothing.

    Posted by SGT Dave | August 15, 2007 4:57 PM

    Real quick, Ed -
    Neither of those bullets is a current US issue round. The M16A2/A4 and M4 carbine use an updated cartridge that is longer than the traditional M16A1 Ball. The tips of current US/NATO 5.56mm are green for ball ammunition (standard) and red for tracer. The old rounds are no longer issued; they have a tendency to not work well in the new version of the rifle, don't have the same ballistic profile, and generally were piss-poor man stoppers.

    Just so you and the others are informed.

    SGT Dave - KFOR 9 Bound!

    Posted by LarryD | August 15, 2007 5:03 PM

    Both AFP and the propaganda organization that shot the photo and submitted to the AFP are stupid beyond belief.

    The AFP deserves to be soundly mocked and ridiculed, repeatedly. Hit 'em in the ego, it's where they're usually sensitive.

    Tom, the bullets have obviously not been fired. Do you think the AFP is so brain dead that it thinks throwing unfired rounds is news. AFP is, supposedly, a news service. They're supposed, as part of their quality control, to check the facts. Obviously they did not.

    Posted by pk | August 15, 2007 5:06 PM

    little problem gang.

    Flat Fatima dosen't have any tats.

    the woman that is holding theunfired rounds does and they are old ones.


    Posted by english teacher | August 15, 2007 5:09 PM

    i generally appreciate your thoughtfulness and analysis even though i am on the other side of the political fence. i think this story falls under the same category as the ridiculously over blown recent controversy over that guy with three names and his "Baghdad Diaries" on that web site nobody reads and whose name i cannot recall. i agreed with your analysis of that, and think that this story falls in the same category. i know i've certainly never seen the picture before; i expect that very few people, in reality, have actually seen the picture. and the claim that unfired rounds hit the house is so ridiculous as to beg credulity. bullets like those may well have struck her house, and if there was a fight in the area, unspent rounds would surely be lying on the ground. i agree with tom shipley: this is probably just another example of the right wing making sh*t up so they can get all bent out of shape over it, in order to perpetuate the ridiculously tired meme of the "liberal media". i suggest your party find a new strategy, like formulating policies that actually help people.

    Posted by leftnomore | August 15, 2007 5:18 PM

    Funny how the Leftist trolls tell us to get a life when they get caught with their pants down. The AFP is at it again, even after the embarrassments they caused themselves in Lebanon last year.

    Posted by Ray | August 15, 2007 5:19 PM

    "What's the most obvious conclusion one can draw from this picture?"

    It's obvious that these are rounds used in the new and improved gyrojet guns. How else could the casings still be attached after they were fired? Yes, I'm being sarcastic.

    Posted by Tom Shipley | August 15, 2007 5:20 PM

    If these bullets have never been fired (and it seems they haven't), that doesn't mean the image and caption are factually incorrect.

    If the woman made the claim, then the facts are correct.

    You guys are free to think this is part of the an AFP conspiracy against US forces, but I think this is just a case of an interesting picture. The image seem to show they haven't been fired. You guys obviously picked up on that. I don't think this is a "trick" by anyone. It's out there for everyone to see.

    And I find it funny that you're attacking the AFP for not knowing a rifle or a shell from a hole in the ground when these guys are over in Iraq right now. I'm sure they see plenty of both.

    Posted by RFA | August 15, 2007 5:25 PM

    i agree with tom shipley: this is probably just another example of the right wing making sh*t up so they can get all bent out of shape over it, in order to perpetuate the ridiculously tired meme of the "liberal media". i suggest your party find a new strategy, like formulating policies that actually help people. Posted by: english teacher at August 15, 2007 5:09 PM

    Good grief, you and shipley should go buy a house in PollyAnnaLand and live happily ever after.

    Posted by filistro | August 15, 2007 5:26 PM

    Pig Pen, this here's the Rubber Duck. Mercy sakes alive, looks like we got us a blogswarm!

    Posted by Pho | August 15, 2007 5:36 PM

    Tom do you even read your posts before hitting the button? Really?

    At what point do we get to question their motives for generating fake news items such as this, Tom?

    Someone passes off an obvious fake story, and we're not allowed to get irritated about it? Or is this going to turn out to be another "fake but accurate" bit of nonsense we're just supposed to allow pass without criticism?

    That someone took this claim as anything but good for a laugh, is really becoming sad for the industry. I doubt the woman in question has any idea where her face wound up, or what got captioned on it. She probably was handled to rifle cartridges and told "here hold this while I take your picture".

    Someone's got to call people on fakes. The regular media has shown a decided unwillingness to do it on it's own. So who's going to?

    Certainly not you Tom. Fake news seems just fine with much of the left (I didn't say all...). Particularly if it props up the story that we're "air raiding villages" with the intention to kill civilians.

    Fake news isn't ok, regardless of the story in question.

    Posted by Tbird | August 15, 2007 5:38 PM

    This is what you get when you send a reporter to cover a war who is totally clueless in regard to the instruments of war. This reporter has not only made a fool of himself but also been played for a sucker...

    Posted by Ray | August 15, 2007 5:40 PM

    "bullets like those may well have struck her house, and if there was a fight in the area, unspent rounds would surely be lying on the ground."

    If this were true, one would expect several pictures of bullet holes the rounds would have made and spent casing laying around as well as the picture of unfired rounds. BTW, NO ONE EVER leaves unspent rounds laying around, especially in a firefight. They get picked up and used.

    "I don't think this is a "trick" by anyone. It's out there for everyone to see."

    The only thing "out there to see" is a bad attempt to verify a false claim.

    Posted by ExUrbanKevin | August 15, 2007 5:44 PM

    We've been have a little Fark-esque fun with this photo over at our group blog,

    Y'know, between the "square-backed" 9mm cartridges and this, I'm beginning to wonder if anyone on the left has actually fired a gun. Ever. This is just plain silly.

    And for those who say "Well, they're just reporting what she said", look, that's what those layers and layers of editors are supposed to be for, to weed out the hearsay and give us the actual news.

    They must have been out to lunch when that photo hit the wire, or in a conference with the Reuters photo editors who can't tell Photoshopped-in smoke from the real thing...

    Posted by Jazz | August 15, 2007 5:54 PM

    Yet again the Captain is jumping to unwarranted conclusions to support his Vast Right Wing Conspiracy agenda. Nobody said the bullets were fired *from a gun.* See? They were clearly shot into the woman's house with a slingshot.

    And you call yourself a reporter.

    Posted by Jason | August 15, 2007 5:56 PM

    You missed the real story. Our troops are not being supplied properly if they have to throw bullets at the enemy.

    Where's the New York Times on this development?

    Posted by Big Brother | August 15, 2007 6:08 PM

    Wissam al-Okaili probably carries a bunch of props around with him during his trips into the hot zones. My guess is that he just pulled this ammo out of his pocket and handed it to her and gave her posing instructions.

    I was able to locate the photo with a story here:

    Either way, if blogging this journalistic inaccuracy gets the progressives knickers in a twist it serves a purpose.

    Posted by docjim505 | August 15, 2007 6:10 PM

    Tom Shipley,

    Though I almost never agree with you and often think your posts are, well, liberally sprinkled with liberal horses***, I don't normally think of you as a stupid man. You express yourself well, use good grammar, and make your points (such as they are) clearly and succinctly. But this makes me wonder if you're off your meds or something:

    The caption says the woman claims these bullets hit her house. It doesn't say they did hit her house.

    You should be addressing the woman, not the AFP.

    This is a prime example of the right-wing blogosphere getting all up in a lather over nothing.

    Do you honestly mean to say that the AFP is off the hook because they PUBLISHED what some unidentified Iraqi woman "claimed"?

    Let me put it another way. Let's say that Fox News ran a pic of some unidentified woman holding up a wallet with the caption: "An elderly Chicago woman holds up a wallet she claims was dropped by Barack Obama after he and three other men gang raped her granddaughter in the predominately white Chicago suburb of Elmhurst."

    It COULD even be factually true: the woman COULD claim that Obama and three other men did that. But if Fox News ran such a story, they would be guilty as hell of journalistic malfeasance, just as AFP is here.

    Lots of people can and do make lots of claims. For a major wire service to publish such a claim puts a stamp of credibility on them like few other things can. This is part of what editors and "fact checkers" and even reporters in the field are supposed to do: investigate claims and discard those that are not supported by the evidence. They are NOT supposed to simply report (with full color photos!) every rumor, gossip, anonymous tip, or ramblings of a lunatic that come their way.

    Riddle me this: why DID AFP run the pic and caption? Just a slow news day? What will they run tomorrow? A pic of some unidentified person holding up a chewing gum wrapper he claims was given to him by aliens from Zokbar-3 when they abducted him yesterday afternoon? "Factually true", of course: the man DID claim to have been abducted. STOP THE PRESSES!

    Posted by Tom Shipley | August 15, 2007 6:12 PM

    look, that's what those layers and layers of editors are supposed to be for, to weed out the hearsay and give us the actual news.

    This image is from the photo gallery. They aren't trying to break any story with the photo. Really, would anyone deny that stray coalition bullets have hit civilian homes during fighting in Iraq?

    It's up there because it's an interesting photo. It's not part of any propoganda campaign. Seriously, all this bother is making you all look foolish.

    Posted by marc | August 15, 2007 6:13 PM


    And you call yourself a reporter.

    No, actually I believe Ed would prefer the title of blogger and I would add an influential one.

    And yes, the AFP reporter did say the woman claims the bullets pictured "hit her house."

    So who's lying Jazz? The reporter? The woman pictured? The editors that let this obvious fake thru its vetting process?

    And BTW, from what I can tell the story has been pulled. Hmmmm... maybe Yahoo is making a statement.... what-do-ya think?

    Posted by Captain Ed | August 15, 2007 6:19 PM


    Thanks for the defense, but I can assure you that Jazz was kidding me. He did that in the other thread, too.

    Posted by english teacher | August 15, 2007 6:31 PM

    so you guys don't think that part of the reason you got your asses handed to you in the last election might possibly have had something to do with the ridiculous way you all get so lathered up about your fantasy left wing media bias? you don't think people realize you are all just making sh*t up and getting bent out of shape like a bunch of pavlov's dogs? i'm trying to clue you guys in, but then again, i never voted republican and never will. i just hate to see so many with out any clue whatsoever. (sheds tear)

    Posted by Ray | August 15, 2007 6:50 PM

    "They aren't trying to break any story with the photo."

    That's not a small photo caption you would find in My Space or Yahoo Photos, it's an entire paragraph posted by a news origination which anyone can see as an attempt to report a firefight in Sadr City in which several rounds hit her house. How can you try to spin this as some type of "cool photo" that they just happen to post on their website?

    The report makes three different allegations here, that a fire fight occurred in Sadr City, that several rounds hit the woman's house, and that there is evidence available to verify the report, hence the photo of the rounds. That makes it a report subject to verification. Since Agence France Presse obviously failed to properly verify this, they are now subject to ridicule.

    Posted by Mike | August 15, 2007 6:51 PM

    English teacher has a point, kinda-sorta. The story probably is not a really big deal. But then that would mean AFP is reporting stories that are not worth reading. Ultimatly, either way means AFP is not worth any level of credibility.

    Posted by Ray | August 15, 2007 6:53 PM

    Sorry, that should read news organization and not news origination.

    Posted by Dale Michaud aka TexasDude | August 15, 2007 6:56 PM

    The Republicans lost, generally, in the last Congressional election.

    However, they did not have their asses handed to them.

    That assertion is a distortion of the truth.

    Then again, that is what the liberals/Democrats are good at doing ... distorting the truth.

    Posted by english teacher | August 15, 2007 6:57 PM

    thank you mike, to which i might add precisely that a very large number of voters do not give a flying poop about whether the AFP has any credibility or not. i'm saying people just don't care, but they see people who care so much and get turned off.

    Posted by Dave the Engineer | August 15, 2007 7:00 PM

    Incredible! This means that the AFP journos and their fact checkers have never seen any of those forensics shows, some of the most popular shows on TV. I mean is that even possible? What cave are they living in? Must be someplace far away like Afghanistan.

    Posted by Mike | August 15, 2007 7:09 PM

    English Teacher, I'm not sure the idea of people caring too much that it makes them look foolish is a Republican franchise. Code Pink,, Michael Moore and a few other individuals and groups on the left do that extraordinarily well. As for AFP, I think they do serve a rather useful purpose really. Based on history, which may not be your forte as an English major, it would appear that any American endeavor which the socialist French oppose must be pretty much on the mark. It would be if they agreed with us that I’d want to rethink our position.

    Posted by docjim505 | August 15, 2007 7:14 PM

    Speedy evolution of defense for AFP:

    1. The claim is factual!

    Oh... Nobody's buying it, huh? Well, it really isn't AFP's job to check out every little detail of a story. Anyway, how were we supposed to tell that those cartridges hadn't been fired?! Um, OK, so...

    2. Boy, rightwingers get riled up about the silliest things!

    Um, yeah, they ARE mad as hell, and they think that this is just more evidence of leftwing media bias. Try something else.

    3. Well, it's not like it was a major headline or anything!

    They don't look convinced. They keep jeering about "fact checkers". Let's try this...

    4. It was just an interesting photo! News agencies have lots of interesting photos, and they just happened to pick this one.

    They're laughing at us. Well, the ones who aren't posting this on their own blogs, that is. Quick! Pull it off Yahoo! and hope Fox News doesn't get hold of it. Meanwhile, maybe this will work...

    5. C'mon. It's AFP! I mean, they don't have much credibility to start with, and most people won't believe the pic anyway.

    Um... You realize that such an admission can be used to permanently destroy the credibility of AFP and, by extension, the rest of the media, right? Remember Reuters and the phoney-baloney stories they were putting out from Lebanon last year? Or the hot water the BBC's been in lately? We don't want everybody thinking "fake but accurate" and rolling their eyes every time they read something in the media. We've gotta come up with something to convince skeptics that we didn't run this pic and caption because we're anti-American and against their illegal war in Iraq.

    6. It's the vast right wing conspiracy again!

    I won't hold my breath.

    Posted by Dale Michaud aka TexasDude | August 15, 2007 7:21 PM

    Sorry to say, but I never take anything the media says as unbiased truth.

    Posted by MikeD | August 15, 2007 7:37 PM

    Great comment english teacher! Tell us, what is it like to be a living joke?

    Posted by MikeD | August 15, 2007 7:42 PM

    Great comment english teacher! Tell us, what is it like to be a living joke?

    Posted by NahnCee | August 15, 2007 7:58 PM

    What does AFP stand for?

    Agence France Press.

    What one word leaps out at you from that name?


    France, which lost two world wars.

    France, which is provably anti-Iraq war as well as anti-Bush.

    France, which is currently losing itself to its Muslims because it refuses to fight back.

    Why is anyone stunned or amazed that a country that demonstrably has not shot a gun in anger since 1914 would hire people who don't recognize what a bullet is, AND who would take any means whatsoever to try to embarrass America? The shrivelled up old lady is probably a great grandmother of one of AFP's French-Muslim employees. AND, how do we know she's Iraqi and not Algerian?

    Posted by Cornellian | August 15, 2007 8:04 PM

    Well technically someone could have thrown them at her house. Then she could truthfully (but misleadingly) say the bullets "hit" her house even though they've obviously never been fired.

    Also, France didn't "lose" two world wars, it was on the winning side of both of them. Germany lost both of them. Italy split the difference. Nor is France as resolutely pacifist as NahnCee's post would suggest. France regularly sends troops around the world (especially to Africa) whenever it feels it has something to gain, nor do they bother asking for UN permission to do so. I trust that will earn them the admiration of many Americans.

    And if "provably anti-Iraq war" means one is not credible, then about 70% of the US population fails that test.

    Posted by Kim | August 15, 2007 9:04 PM

    Flashback to the old Zorro, religion class, grade two, cassocks flying in the corridor. Knuckles rapped as the black gown witch flew by, whispering in my slapped ear. Don't ask questions. Just believe and you'll go to heaven.

    Posted by newton | August 15, 2007 10:26 PM

    "Fake, but accurate."


    Posted by J.M. Heinrichs | August 15, 2007 11:34 PM

    In certain milieus, an "english teacher" is an instructor in the finer points of administering corporal punishments.


    Posted by NahnCee | August 15, 2007 11:41 PM

    France didn't win two world wars. America won them, and then liberated France out of the kindness of our hearts. France heard the Germans were coming and immediately surrendered, which is why they don't know what a bullet looks like.

    France has been having nightly arson attacks for two years now, in addition to increasing attacks on both their police and their firefighters by their Muslim "youth". Have they shot at said miscreants? Used a bullet? Hell no.

    Like I said, France (and its Agence) don't know what bullets look like, fired or unfired.

    Posted by Anna | August 16, 2007 12:03 AM

    Hey--is this not the same woman's picture who was featured several times in one week during the Lebanese dust up in recent past? Each time she was shown "losing her home." Later she was at some blog where she was featured as a cut-out figure known as Flat Fatima! I may be wrong but hse certainly looks the same.....

    Posted by Achillea | August 16, 2007 12:16 AM

    I'd wondered that myself, Anna, but I don't think they're the same woman. She doesn't seem to have the same scar on her cheek (though with her head at that angle, it's hard to tell). And Flat Fatima didn't have that weird line on her lower lip. Still, perhaps some of our resident PhotoShop magicians can give a more definitive yea or nay.

    Posted by Achillea | August 16, 2007 12:22 AM

    Now remember folks, denunciations from the left, no matter how unfounded and strident, are 'righteous outrage.' Those from the right, no matter how well-proved and justified, are 'getting all lathered up over nothing.'


    Posted by unclesmrgol | August 16, 2007 1:29 AM

    Hey, you guys are all looking at this the wrong way.

    Note that the woman claims these bullets hit her house. Now, there's no way that those unfired bullets could have killed anyone in the house, or damaged any portion of the house, so we have:

    a) Coalition forces are being extremely respectful of civilians and their property. When attempting to apprehend insurgents in these areas, the troops throw the bullets with only enough force to cause an ow-ee if it hits a person.

    b) Since she refers to coalition forces and a raid, we can assume that an Air Force sortee from somewhere in Afghanistan did not drop these bullets on her house in Sadr City, and that, therefore, this is just one more example of how naive Obama is in the foreign policy arena.

    c) She's wearing two rings. That means that American troops who, according to John Kerry, would have shot her and taken all her jewelry, somehow missed that hand.

    Now, the thing that really bothers me about this photo is the lack of explanation about the ear thingy or the line drawn down the middle of her chin. I'm into foreign culture and sure would like to have these explained. Another thing that bothers me is the crappiness of the photographer's composition -- you'd think he'd have her hold the bullets next to her head and make the depth of field deep enough to bring both head, hand, and bullets into focus. Think of the implications-- the bullet, the head, the danger.

    Posted by Tom W. | August 16, 2007 1:38 AM

    We demented wingnuts take the cake. I mean, it's so funny to accuse the AFP of inferring that the bullets were fired by careless, trigger-happy Coalition soldiers.

    The AFP never suggested that bullets hitting a house had to have been fired from a gun.

    As any reasonable person knows, the cartridges could have been thrown, dropped from an aircraft, fired by slingshot, spat, vomited, kicked like a football, or farted out by soldiers who'd stuffed them up their rumps.

    This is just pure common sense.

    Posted by Rose | August 16, 2007 2:35 AM

    Guys, this old South West Texas country girl thinks this is the funniest thing since the days of the Clintonistas - I sooooo gawr-own-TEE! SO LOL!

    Wonder if this is the same lady as the one the news wires used last year in several different Lebanon cities, showing reporters how her house has been bombed by the Israelies, same house and same lady, photoshopped onto several different cities.


    Posted by onlineanalyst | August 16, 2007 3:12 AM

    Re: J.M. Heinrichs at August 15, 2007 11:34 PM

    Old joke--
    Masochist: Hit me! Hit me!
    Sadist: No.

    Posted by JAT | August 16, 2007 5:15 AM

    LOL x 10...

    The left cries right wing conspiracy, the right claims the left is at it again with dirty propaganda. You all miss something though..AFP. The photo wasn't run just for US, this ran in Europe also. Is there a blog swarm going on over there? Bet not. And how many people saw this story and moved on? They are not part of the swarm - they saw - they believed - they moved on - damage DONE.

    Now the picture and story are pulled - but can anyone find this "a correction" and I mean a public correction in every source that ran this picture? No - damage done.

    And AFP, AP, Reuters, et al will continue to run these and other "fake but true" stories until the cows come home to roost.

    Posted by Otter | August 16, 2007 7:02 AM

    I don't get the Tom Shipleys (unless he's been writing tongue-in-cheek since this came out).

    Look at the pictures- especially on BlackFive's blog. Picture after picture of the SAME WOMAN. How is it they manage to not only blow up her apartment twice, but still are able to find her and keep shooting bullets, jackets and all, into her new place, and apparently more than once? How unlucky can one person be?

    She shows up as often as Green Helmet Man and Rage Boy, Tom. Can't you see a pattern?

    Posted by Tom Shipley | August 16, 2007 7:23 AM

    First of all Otter, Two of those pictures may be the same woman, but you can't definitely say they are. And secondly, so what? I believe they were all taken on the same day.


    Here's a link to today's AFP photo gallery.

    It's where they post interesting pictures from the day. It's not about breaking news. It's about images. You guys really are making a mountain out of a mole hill.

    Posted by MarkD | August 16, 2007 7:34 AM

    Yes Tom. It was a lie - a deliberate attempt to deceive, but it wasn't an important lie.

    You ought to remember the first rule of holes.

    Posted by Tom Shipley | August 16, 2007 7:37 AM

    Yes Tom. It was a lie - a deliberate attempt to deceive, but it wasn't an important lie.

    If it's a lie, it's a lie by the woman. Not the AFP. As I said before, talk to her.

    Where exactly did the AFP attempt to deceive the reader?

    Posted by Tom Shipley | August 16, 2007 7:52 AM

    And if you guys are all bent out of shape about this, I can't image what you thought and said when you heard Colin Powell's UN speech was bogus.

    Posted by brooklyn | August 16, 2007 9:45 AM

    Hey Captain,

    I just remembered something from way back, when Terrorists tried to use a photo of a GI JOE TOY, as proof they held a US Soldier captive.

    Remember how silly that one was?

    Posted by Mooseschulze | August 16, 2007 9:50 AM

    The woman is holding up two cartridges that do not appear to be of US military issue. For the benefit of Tom Shipley they do not "SEEM" to be unfired. THEY ARE IN FACT UNFIRED!! The bullet is the small pointy thing on the end of the cartridge and once having been fired and hit a building would become an unrecognizeable mass of steel or copper & lead. Except for your reading of right wing blogs, Tom, these facts would apparently be unknown to you and like millians of others you would have accepted this anti U.S. military tripe as factual. Oh well, you still have the old fallback "fake but accurate" mantra. Another liberal supporting the troops. What a guy.

    Posted by FilthyMcNasty | August 16, 2007 9:57 AM

    "Seriously, all this bother is making you all look foolish."

    Said Mr. Pot to Mr. Kettle.

    Posted by GrumpyMel | August 16, 2007 11:07 AM


    Silly me, I thought the function of the press was SUPPOSED to be to provide the public with facts that inform them about important events going on in the world.

    Posting claims based upon evidence that can easly be verified as false without providing information about the accuracy of the evidence is not the function of a news's the function of a gossip columnist and a bad one at that.

    Yes, those of us here who know anything about firearms can easy tell from the picture that it does not support the claim in the caption..... but a great number of the public doesn't have any such familarity with firearms... and seeing it reported by a news agency without any counterbalancing information would accept the claim at face value and therfore be misled.

    AFP is doing a diservice to the public and abrogating it's basic responsibilty as a news agency.

    Posted by Ray | August 16, 2007 11:09 AM

    "If it's a lie, it's a lie by the woman. Not the AFP."

    What do you mean by 'If", it's obviously a lie. Those are suppose to be US munitions and the US military never throws unfired rounds at someone's house. The entire premise that these rounds struck her house is a lie.

    The AFP is complaisant in disseminating that lie as it was an AFP photographer that took the picture, it wasn't sent in by a third party. It was an AFP editor that approved the picture and it's accompanying caption. It was the AFP that posted the picture on it's website.

    The AFP should have done a better job at verifying the truth of the woman's claim BEFORE they posted a photograph on their website from one of their photographers. Since they did not, the AFP is culpable for disseminating a lie and is now subject to ridicule. Why is so hard for you to accept?

    Posted by Tim W | August 16, 2007 11:25 AM

    I find it very strange that the liberals on this site are defending this anti american propaganda and defending AFP. Nobody could be that stupid to believe that these were fired shells, even people who are not familiar with guns. The good news is that 90% of the people who read this story will see what utter crap this is and the media's credibility will be further eroded.

    Posted by GrumpyMel | August 16, 2007 11:41 AM

    English teacher,

    As some-one who, ostensibly, has devoted thier career to the education of others, one would think you would express greater concern when the press so cavalierly abrogates it basic responsibility to provide factual information to the public.

    If this were just an isolated incident, I could see not attaching any great importance to it. However, this kind of behavior is endemic in the press. One see's examples of it every day on issues both large and small, political and aploitical. The fact that a teacher does not see that as a matter of any concern..... speaks volumes about the problems of education in this country.

    The posts of those of us labeled as "right-wingers" primarly seem centered around whether the press is providing factualy accurate information to the public.....whereas your posts seem primarly concerned as to how it will effect your political side in the next
    election cycle. That speaks volumes about our respective priorties.

    I want the press to provide the public with accurate information REGARDLESS of who it helps or hurts politicaly. The only concern you seem to have is who it helps win. That, above everything, is my biggest problem with so many on the left these days

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