Memo to Pajamas Media: Stay in bed

The ever-so-holier-than-thou gaggle of right-wing bloggers owe The Associated Press an apology for accusing the venerable news service of making up a source in its reporting of the Iraq war.

But don’t expect one. The crew that is so quick to cry “foul” when someone else screws the pooch can’t bring itself to simply say “we were wrong” when it turned out that the source not only existed but faces arrest because he dared talk to the press.

Leading the “never admit a mistake” coalition is the queen of shrill, Michelle Malkin, a pseudo-pundit who never met a war she couldn’t embrace (as long as it was launched by a Republican) or a American soldier’s death she couldn’t disregard in the name of political expediency.

Eric Boehlert at Media Matters calls Malkin and her ilk “warbloggers,” which is a good term for these wannabe reporters who substitute political agendas for honest journalism.

Writes Boehlert:

Warbloggers endured a bleak November, watching their political heroes suffer the loss of both houses of Congress, while President Bush’s approval ratings fell toward Nixonian levels, the mainstream media finally conceded the battle for Iraq had broken down into a civil war, and even war architect Donald Rumsfeld was tossed overboard. Everything warbloggers had championed over the past five years — waging war with Islamists and creating a permanent Republican majority inside the Beltway — came undone, and the chronically incorrect warbloggers, angry ideologues who make Sean Hannity look like a man of reason, slipped into the realm of the laughingstock.

Writing on the incident where the warbloggers claimed the AP invented a source, Boehlert notes:

By inflating the disputed incident into a monumentally important press story, warbloggers, who have excitedly pounded the story for weeks, convinced themselves that blame for the United States’ emerging defeat in Iraq lay squarely at the feet of the press. Specifically, warbloggers claim that American journalists, too cowardly to go get the news themselves, are relying on local Iraqi news stringers who have obvious sympathies for terrorists and who purposefully push propaganda into the news stream — the way Hussein did with the Burned Alive story — to create the illusion of turmoil. Warbloggers, who have virtually no serious journalism experience among them, announced that what’s coming out of Iraq today is not news at all, but simply terrorist press releases — “a pack of lies” — regurgitated by reporters (or “traitors”) who want to see the insurgents succeed.

For today’s right-wing warbloggers, whose contempt for journalists is matched only by their unbridled hatred of Arabs and Muslims, the AP kerfuffle represented a perfect solution that, at least temporarily, lifted their November blues. By early this month, they had dubbed the scandal “Jamilgate,” with Malkin referring to the AP as “The Associated (with terrorists) Press.” (Get it?)

Keep in mind that in the seven days surrounding the Burned Alive story, hundreds and hundreds of Iraqis were killed in sectarian violence.

Malkin’s response to all this?

Checking it out. Moving forward…

Meanwhile, over at the headquarters of the so-called Pajamas Media, they are having problems with a breathless story about the death of a Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei who, it turns out, may still be alive and kicking.

Reported the right-wing blog three days ago:

A source close to Pajamas Media has learned that Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has apparently succumbed to the cancer that hospitalized him last month, as exclusively reported by Pajamas Media, at age 67. He has been Iran’s most powerful figure since replacing Ayatollah Khomeini in the role of Supreme Leader in 1989.

No other news outlet – mainstream,independent or partisan – has picked up the story.

Reports Hot Air:

This is either going to be a two-ton feather in Pajamas’s cap or a major embarrassment. I have my fingers crossed for them. There’s not a word about it on Google News and Iranian dissidents have been known to exaggerate, but this report at AKI that seemed dubious to me when I first read it two days ago now seems … less so.

An unwillingness to admit mistakes is not limited to the right-wing. Before the November mid-term elections, the left-wing pseudo-news site Truthout, a creation of former fashion photographer Marc Ash, published an “exclusive” by disgraced reporter Jason Leopold that claimed Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald had indicted Bush political guru Karl Rove in the Valerie Plame CIA leak scandal.

No such indictment existed but Truthout refused to retract or apologize for its story even after Fitzgerald notified Rove’s attorney that the investigation was closed.

First rule of true journalism: When you screw up, admit it. God knows Capitol Hill Blue has eaten enough crow to put the bird on the endangered species list. Not so with journalistic wannabes. But most of these folks wouldn’t know a true news story if it kicked them in the nuts.