February 1, 2005

No Dolls for Oil! -- The Moron Brigade of Mainstream Media Marches On

This image of what appears to be a captured US soldier was posted on an Iraqi militant website, Tuesday Feb. 1, 2005. According to the website, the militants threatened to behead the hostage in 72 hours unless the Americans release Iraqi prisoners. The claim could not be verified.(AP Photo) --My Way News Photo - IRAQ SOLDIER
It "could not be verified" because the stringers, reporters, editors, and other extinct lifeforms that work for the Associated Press, didn't take the time to trot on down to TOYS R' US, or run a search under Dragon action figure Cody .

Somebody really needs to PayPal the AP ten bucks to pay for "Searching, Internet."

Oops, after hours of stupidity, the AP is sort of, kind of, backtracking using an interview with the president of Dragon Toys:

"Liam Cusack, of the toy manufacturer Dragon Models USA Inc., said the image bore a striking resemblance to the African-American version of its "Cody" action figure.

"It is our doll ... To me, it looks definitely like it is," Cusack told The Associated Press. "Everything the guy is wearing is exactly what comes with our figure. If you look at the two pictures side by side, it'd be a huge coincidence...."
[Several paragraphs rehearsing the nature of the Dragon Toy sales and the history of hostage taking. All of which leads us to this stunning conclusion:]
If proven a fake, Tuesday's posting would not be the first hoax associated with kidnappings in Iraq (news - web sites). In August, television stations around the world showed a video in which a 22-year-old San Francisco man faked his own beheading by Iraqi militants."

"If proven a fake...." IF? Oh, I'd say the "If" has long since left the building.

The nasty undercurrent to this stupid episode is that a whole group of people at the AP -- from stringers, to reporters, to photo editors, to editors -- really wanted this story to be true. And even when confronted with the solid evidence of the senses, they still can't quite let go of their hopes that somewhere in Iraq a captured American soldier is about to be beheaded.

In the 80s I had a good friend who summed up the ironic pose of those halcyon days with the phrase: "I used to be disgusted, now I'm just amused." For these more serious times, we need to turn that around when dealing with The Marching Morons of the Media: "I used to be amused, now I'm just disgusted."
UPDATE: CNN bought it at 1:51 PM EST:

CNN.com - Islamist group claims to hold U.S. soldier - Feb 1, 2005

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- A group calling itself the Al Mujahedin Brigade claimed Tuesday it captured a U.S. soldier in Iraq and threatened to behead him unless prisoners are released.

The claim and a photo -- neither of which have been authenticated -- were posted on an Islamist Web site.

A statement on the Web site identifies the kidnap victim by name, but the U.S. military has not confirmed that any soldier is missing or captured in Iraq.

The photograph shows a man dressed in military fatigues sitting on the ground against a black flag with white Arabic lettering saying, "God is great, there is no god but Allah."

A military assault rifle is pointed at his head.

And then CNN began to sell their position off at 4:02 PM EST:
CNN.com - U.S. military: No soldier missing in Iraq - Feb 1, 2005

The figure in the photo appeared stiff and expressionless.

Liam Cusack, of the toy manufacturer Dragon Models USA, Inc., said the image of the soldier portrayed in the photo bore a striking resemblance to a military action figure made by the company.

By 5:37 EST they had almost liquidated their entire holdings in the Hostage GI story, keeping just a few shares for their precious memory portfolio with the word "appears":
CNN.com - So-called U.S. hostage appears to be toy - Feb 1, 2005

(CNN) -- A photograph posted on an Islamist Web site appears to be that of an action figure and not a U.S. soldier being held hostage.

Liam Cusack, the marketing coordinator for Dragon Models USA, said the figure pictured on the Web site is believed to be "Special Ops Cody," a military action figure the company manufactured in late 2003.

UPDATE: JihadWatch has the human interest side of this story with: GI hostage's mother pleads for son's life

Blogs For Bush: is right back at him with the Charles Johnson patented animated gif superimposition technique:


The above animation shows the original photo of the alleged captured soldier, with the toy head superimposed at 25% on the second frame, 50% on the third frame, 75% on the fourth frame, and 100% on the fifth frame.

The first to call fake on the photo probably goes to "Double Tap" at Militaryphotos.net at 1:09PM with confirmation coming in at 2:20 PM from DPICH I/E also Militaryphotos.net

Honorable mention to Fark and Free Republic as well.

Wizbang is counting MSM coup and keepinga little list.

The full timeline is to be found at The Command Post - Iraq - Website claiming GI capture appears to be hoax (updated)

It's little wonder MSM hates the Net. From World Shattering Headline to joke in less than 3 hours. That's quite a newscycle. I wonder how many newspapers rolled the presses with the hostage story in them.
And then, within the old 24-hour newscycle, Chris Muir strikes with:

Day By Day by Chris Muir, cartoon for: 2/2/2005

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Posted by Vanderleun at February 1, 2005 2:59 PM | TrackBack
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Its rather sad and disturbing, isn't it?

Posted by: Final Historian at February 1, 2005 3:37 PM

Save Cody!

"Why is that soldier strapped to an explosive device?" -- Buzz Lightyear

Posted by: Stephen B. at February 1, 2005 6:48 PM

CBS is also running the story. Dan Rather concedes that it may be a hoax, but he insists it's still accurate.

Posted by: JCR at February 1, 2005 9:48 PM

I hadn't heard the name of the "group" in radio reports, but that should have been a dead giveaway. Mujahedin is plural. Al is a singular article. It would take a particularly illiterate Arab to make such a silly mistake.

Of course, the legacy partisan press is as clueless about that as everything else.


Posted by: Mark Alger at February 2, 2005 5:38 AM

So it's fake, but accurate?

Posted by: P.A. Breault at February 2, 2005 7:58 AM

Well it's one thing to take hostage one of our brave fighting action figures, but the minute those scum bags lay a hand on Barbie will be the day that the place is turned to a sea of glass. Enough is enough.

Posted by: phil g at February 2, 2005 10:00 AM

Hmm. Wonder how collectible that action figure is now?

Posted by: urthshu at February 2, 2005 10:52 AM

Hmmm wonder if it was sold out a few days ago..


Posted by: Karlos at February 3, 2005 1:33 AM
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