December 14, 2006

Say Cheese

I'd like to introduce both a marvelous bit of technology to Associated Press Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll, AP international editor John Daniszewski, and the newly, and curiously promoted, AP Baghdad News Editor, Kim Gamel.

The marvelous bit of technology you see pictured below is what those of us on the cutting edge call a "disposable camera." In specific, the example pictured is a variant of the Kodak Fun Saver.


They have come up with a few more variants to suit your needs, and the prices are such that even a cash-starved global news agency can afford to send them out with even the most inexperienced of stringers. Your reporters don't have to return from Baghdad slums without any physical evidence ever again!

What will they think up next?

Now... how about a practical application of this new-fangled technology?

As we all know horrible acts of sectarian violence were claimed by AP reporters on November 24 in the Hurriyah neighborhood of Baghdad. According to a claim from long-time AP source Police Captain Jamil Hussein, a man that has since tripped and fallen off the planet, six Sunni men were pulled from a mosque, doused in kerosene, and burned alive.

In addition, AP claimed:

...members of the Mahdi Army militia burned four mosques and several homes while killing 12 other Sunni residents in the once-mixed Hurriyah neighborhood, Hussein said.

Gunmen loyal to radical anti-American Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr began taking over the neighborhood this summer and a majority of its Sunni residents already had fled.

The militiamen attacked and burned the Ahbab al-Mustafa, Nidaa Allah, al-Muhaimin and al-Qaqaqa mosques in the rampage that did not end until American forces arrived, Hussein said.

The gunmen attack with rocket-propelled grenades, heavy machine guns and automatic rifles. Residents said militiamen prevented them from entering burned structures to take away the bodies of victims.

All that carnage, and your stringers without a Fun Saver.

Just think... how much credibility could have been saved if the Associated Press stringers had access to such technology on any of their first three trips into the neighborhood to cover this story?

Instead, we have a "he said, she said," stalemate where the AP claims these four mosques were rocketed, machine gunned, burned, and blown up, and coalition forces instead insist that only one mosque suffered though any attack at all, and that was a minor fire put out by the local fire department.

If these mosques are indeed intact, the first person to snap four pictures of the Ahbab al-Mustafa, Nidaa Allah, al-Muhaimin and al-Qaqaqa mosques intact will have wrecked the reputation of the world's largest news organization for $3.75.

An empowering thing, technology.

Off-Topic Update: Since I have your eyeballs thanks to Glenn and Michelle and others, I'd like to remind visitors that the 2006 Weblog Awards will be accepting votes until tomorrow, December 15. Click the logo below to vote for your favorites in 45 categories.

The 2006 Weblog Awards
Posted by Confederate Yankee at December 14, 2006 07:22 AM | TrackBack

Ouchie. That'll leave a mark.

Posted by: chris Muir at December 14, 2006 11:21 AM

We use those when we go on vacation, no need to worry about expensive cameras getting stolen.

Posted by: D at December 14, 2006 11:32 AM

Does the Fun Saver have PhotoShop built in or is that a free download?

Posted by: AW at December 14, 2006 01:16 PM

Man, don't you know they can't use film!!?? They can't just pop these into a laptop card reader and bring up photoshop. Wait, they've got laptops, card readers and full versions of photoshop at like $750 a license? Hmm, maybe they can afford a few FunSavers.

Posted by: Ay Uaxe at December 14, 2006 01:29 PM


Don't you know, Bob...the Ministry of Media is only interested in producing the "negatives".

Posted by: cfbleachers at December 14, 2006 02:29 PM