First there were flat media reports that many of the hostages escaped. Then: Maybe not many, or any. Then reports that 35 had been killed in strikes by Algerian military trying to retake the facility. Then: They only destroyed the hostage takers' vehicles. Then Algeria official says that's all a fantasy. But CBS sources a "diplomatic" contact who says killings are true. Helicopters shooting on anything that moves. Then more denials from officials. The Guardian very careful. Yet CBS puts the 35 Dead right in headline, even while sourcing to "Militants." But latest from Reuters: 180 Algerian hostages escape. That many? Stay tuned but some shoddy coverage going on here.
Update 10 a.m.: CNN claims only four hostages free. AFP says several dead in attacks, maybe more. NYT covers itself by mentioning several scenarios.
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Mass Confusion In Algeria Hostage Drama
is author of a dozen books (click on covers at right), including the new "THE TUNNELS: Escapes Under the Berlin Wall and the Historic Films the JFK White House Tried to Kill." He was the longtime editor of Editor & Publisher. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @GregMitch