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Friday, August 09, 2013


AP outdoes itself on Syria

Today's AP news headline: "Syrian rebels shell neighborhood close to Assad." But did they?

The first paragraph is certainly frightening news for the Syrian government:

Rockets and mortar shells hit an upscale Damascus neighborhood Thursday where Syrian President Bashar Assad was visiting a nearby mosque, laying bare the ability of rebels to strike one of the most secure areas of the capital despite an ongoing government offensive.
And the next paragraph gets even worse, telling us "At least two rebel brigades claimed to have hit Assad's motorcade on its way to the mosque." But then the story goes to pot. AP, having reported the claim, then says "but this appeared to be untrue. Two opposition figures said the route was hit but not the convoy itself." One does wonder why they bother to report claims which they themselves don't believe, but let's continue reading.

So now the "route" was hit, right? Well, that too is hard to believe from what we read next: "There were no reports of casualties or damage in the shelling of the Malki district." So there was a rocket and mortar attack which not only caused no casualties but not even any damage? Not even a pockmarked street?

Notwithstanding that there is no evidence for this attack on the motorcade other than rebel claims, AP then proceeds to have an opposition spokesman tell us how significant it was, and then to repeat the claim about the attack.

If a mortar falls in the forest and no one hears it, did it make a sound?

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