It's a bad day for the mainstream media

They're falling for hoaxes - check this AP story:
Iraqi militants claimed in a Web statement Tuesday to have taken an American soldier hostage and threatened to behead him in 72 hours unless the Americans release Iraqi prisoners. The U.S. military said it was investigating, but the claim’s authenticity could not be immediately confirmed.

The posting, on a Web site that frequently carried militants’ statements, included a photo of what that statement said was an American soldier, wearing desert fatigues and seated on a concrete floor with his hands tied behind his back. The figure in the photo appeared stiff and expressionless, and the photo’s authenticity could not be confirmed.
Then take a look at the images that LGF offers up, that were found quite easily on the net. The AP fell for a toy soldier with a toy gun, and claimed it might have been a captured American.

But it doesn't end there. Captain's Quarters leads us to Forumblog, which has this.
At a discussion moderated by David R. Gergen, the Director for Public Leadership, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, the concept of truth, fairness, and balance in the news was weighed against corporate profit interest, the need for ratings, and how the media can affect democracy. The panel included Richard Sambrook, the worldwide director of BBC radio, U.S. Congressman Barney Frank, Abdullah Abdullah, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan, and Eason Jordan, Chief News Executive of CNN. The audience was a mix of journalists, WEF attendees (many from Arab countries), and a US Senator from Connecticut, Chris Dodd.

During one of the discussions about the number of journalists killed in the Iraq War, Eason Jordan asserted that he knew of 12 journalists who had not only been killed by US troops in Iraq, but they had in fact been targeted. He repeated the assertion a few times, which seemed to win favor in parts of the audience (the anti-US crowd) and cause great strain on others.

Due to the nature of the forum, I was able to directly challenge Eason, asking if he had any objective and clear evidence to backup these claims, because if what he said was true, it would make Abu Ghraib look like a walk in the park. David Gergen was also clearly disturbed and shocked by the allegation that the U.S. would target journalists, foreign or U.S. He had always seen the U.S. military as the providers of safety and rescue for all reporters.

Eason seemed to backpedal quickly, but his initial statements were backed by other members of the audience (one in particular who represented a worldwide journalist group). The ensuing debate was (for lack of better words) a real "sh--storm". What intensified the problem was the fact that the session was a public forum being taped on camera, in front of an international crowd. The other looming shadow on what was going on was the presence of a U.S. Congressman and a U.S. Senator in the middle of some very serious accusations about the U.S. military. [Emphasis mine]
There's more at LGF and GayPatriot. Seriously, these accusations without proof or any evidence at all to support the claim are ridiculous, and Eason should be reconsidering whether he's worthy to have any part in reporting the news at all. I wonder if MoveOn.Org has an opening for him? We'll leave the final words to Captain Ed:
I think we can start thinking about dropping all the "ifs", and start demanding some answers from CNN. If Jordan has evidence of this military practice, why hasn't CNN reported it? And if he has no evidence, why would the chief of a worldwide news agency spread unsubstantiated rumors? What else has CNN reported that is similarly sourced, and what else has CNN suppressed with solid sourcing?

The first symptoms of the cancer may have appeared at CBS, but obviously the malignancy runs much deeper and wider than that.
Amen to that. Read his whole piece, there's a lot more.

(Cross-posted to The House Of Wheels.)

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