Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The First Post: bunch of slobs

The First Post: Pic of the Day: food queues in Iraq

I can't tell you why stupid stuff like this pisses me off... but it does. The lazy, incompetent bastards at The First Post have captioned the above picture "US soldiers push back Iraqi women..." Two guys wearing "chocolate chips", carrying Kalashnikovs, one not wearing a helmet and the other wearing a black "fritz" helmet are not US forces. The uniforms and equipment are consistent with Iraqi Police, Iraqi Army and Iraqi National Guard. I really couldn't tell you which, but then again it's not my picture, not my web page and it's not my job to write the caption.

It would be nice if the people writing about Iraq actually knew something about the subject, but that's really too much to ask.


Mario said...

At The First Post we’re always happy if people discuss our articles, it means our readers are thinking and engaged, and we don’t mind if you disagree with some of our Opinion columns. But we hate being called slobs…

Our Pic of the Day photo caption was supplied by AFP, which claims to be the oldest established news agency. We edited the caption for length to fit our format.

The full caption actually read:
"US soldiers try to push back Iraqis as they rush to receive humanitarian aid from the Iraqi Ministry of Trade in Baquba, 60 kms (35 miles) north of Baghdad, 05 August 2007. As Iraqis queue forlornly for food and water, or swelter in homes and hospitals wihout electricity, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's coalition government is collapsing around him. Since the US-led invasion of March 2003, Iraq has plunged into an abyss of overlapping civil conflicts that have divided its rival religious and ethnic communities, and left tens of thousands of civilians dead. AFP PHOTO / OLIVIER LABAN-MATTEI (Photo credit should read OLIVIER LABAN-MATTEI/AFP/Getty Images)"

If a respected news agency like AFP makes mistakes, then you have highlighted a very serious issue…

Hopefully we’re not so lazy in your eyes now!

Let us know how you get on with AFP and thanks for being a reader of The First Post

Pigasus said...


I've contacted AFP. Thank you very much for the lead.

I understand and appreciate that The First Post cares about their reputation.

I went on your site and poked around for corrections section and didn't find one. On the LA Times an NY Times sites it's on the homepage. One thing you can do to safeguard your reputation is that when you make errors you attempt to correct them.

Another thing you can do is put more work into the front end. Both the US and Britain have an ever-increasing population of Southwest Asia vets. Any one of them could have looked at that picture, read the caption and said "oh hell no."

At the end of the day, you folks at The First Post aren't the only ones with reputations. Other people have reputations too. Please show as much care for the reputations of others as you do for your own.