AP’s Dire Headline versus The Meek Story under it

AP announced a story with the following headline.

US: RUSSIA ‘CREATED THE CONDITIONS’ FOR SHOOT-DOWN

It was the Russians! The bias free, always correct, US intelligence has confirmed it! No need to read the story.

For the few who read the article and not completely mesmerized by the Anti-Russian Orgy of Hate, the important story seems to be something else entirely.

Here’s the first para with the statements I find most interesting highlighted:

WASHINGTON (AP) β€” Senior U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday that Russia was responsible for “creating the conditions” that led to the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, but they offered no evidence of direct Russian government involvement.

And later on in the 11th and 12th paras

The officials made clear they were relying in part on social media postings and videos made public in recent days by the Ukrainian government, even though they have not been able to authenticate all of it. For example, they cited a video of a missile launcher said to have been crossing the Russian border after the launch, appearing to be missing a missile.

But later, under questioning, the officials acknowledged they had not yet verified that the video was exactly what it purported to be.

There’s a lot more these anonymous intelligence officials briefed reporters which AP typed up without quotes. Like this para

Despite the fuzziness of some details, however, the intelligence officials said the case that the separatists were responsible for shooting down the plane was solid. Other scenarios β€” such as that the Ukrainian military shot down the plane β€” are implausible, they said. No Ukrainian surface-to-air missile system was in range.

absolving the Ukrainians. So the media need no further questions along this thread. After all if Ukraine DID have Buks nearby the anonymous senior US intelligence official would have reported it truthfully right? I mean it’s not like senior US intelligence officials ever lie especially anonymously and not under oath.

Let’s pause for a second. Take a deep breath. And let me see if I can understand what AP is trying to say:

1. These anonymous intelligence officials held a briefing. Why not an open one?

Of course this is part of the game as to how the US government releases information to its favored media outlets that’s “unofficial” and meant more to influence opinion than be sharply questioned in public. And the media outlets then essentially broadcast this info with little questioning. A simpler solution of the US Government just posting the info directly into the web would of course appear like Propaganda. Having the favored media broadcast your spiel is not. This is News.

Wonderful.

2. Why should anyone believe anything the US intelligence officials say?

While the AP doesn’t say the reader should believe the senior US intelligence officials of course, by essentially mixing their statements with various official statements and background info gives inherent credibility to whatever these guy says. Would the same courtesy be extended to Russian intelligence officials? Are US intelligence officials inherently more trustable than their Russian counterparts?

3. And through all the noise of this 786 word infomercial, isn’t the relevant summary:

US intelligence have provided an anonymous briefing providing fuzzy details about their theory that the rebels shot down MH17 relying on unverified social media and video provided by the Ukrainian government but insist their case is solid based on unreleased intelligence data.

That’s 42 words.

As for the appropriate headline, this is the dreaded RT’s headline based on the same information AP provided.

US coy on Malaysian plane evidence, points to social media and ‘common sense

Seems about right.

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6 Responses to AP’s Dire Headline versus The Meek Story under it

  1. Pingback: On Brahma Chellaney’s Take on MH17 | ludwitt

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  3. Pingback: Jill Dougherty’s Attack Piece on the Russian Media and the role of the Intercept in its dissemination | ludwitt

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