Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The NBC News Verification Squad

Richard Engel, Middle East bureau chief for NBC news, asks What happened in Haditha, Iraq?.

If you didn't skip to the above link already...don't bother...because you won't found out much about what happened there.

But you will find this:

Witnesses, doctors and an Iraqi human rights group tell NBC News a consistent story, but one we have not been able to verify independently.

What the hell does that mean?


Plus all the articles from news articles quoting unnamed officials about the weight of the evidence.

How exactly does NBC News go about verifying stories?

Maybe this part later in the story explains what they mean:

NBC News asked the U.S. military to comment on this report. So far, the U.S. military here in Iraq only said that it takes the allegations seriously but cannot comment on ongoing investigations.

Does NBC News verification mean US Military confirmation?

I'm certainly not suggesting that the Marines should be considered guilty based on what's been reported and leaked the last few days. That would be undemocratic.

But why would NBC News put something so silly in their article?

Again, how exactly does NBC News verify its stories?

Eyewitness accounts, photographs, videos, corroborating accounts, assorted officials...I guess none of that carries any weight in NBC News' verification process.


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