June 25, 2003

Brits: Baghdad Bob Behind Bars

London Bureau Chief

LONDON -- Former Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf has been captured, according to a report from the Reuters wire service.

The agency's report was based on an article which appeared in The Daily Mirror, a brash London tabloid known for its coverage of sport and the peccadilloes of British politicians. The exclusive was a boost for the paper, whose reputation had sunk to previously-unimaginable lows after it hired John Pilger.

"Clearly this is a boost for Britain's 'Newspaper of the Year,'" said Kevin K. Brinker, a professor in the University of Michigan's undergraduate journalism program. "God knows it needed it. I mean, really. Imagine -- actually reporting on the news as it happens, instead of hyping three-sentence editorials and celebrity gossip."

"Say, is that a spare copy of The Scotsman?" Brinker continued. "May I borrow it?"

No Mirror copy was cited in the Reuters report, but Brinker believes the story may note "SHOCK FURY AT NO. 10 AS COMICAL ALI CRASHES WILLS' PARTY IN PINK DRESS HORROR."

"That's what every other story in the Mirror seems to cover," Brinker said. "Why don't they just offer a lot of crosswords instead?"

As of press time, the story had already hit the widely-viewed Drudge Report in America, although there was not yet any mention of the rumor on a fan site for al-Sahaf.

The chief spokesman for Iraq during the quick conflict between the United States and the despotic regime of Saddam Hussein, al-Sahaf quickly rose to prominence for his daily claims that all was well with Hussein's regime.

As the stupidity of such claims grew ever more obvious, however, al-Sahaf quickly became an object of ridicule and laughter in the West. His reputation was further damaged when the U.S. military distributed playing cards with al-Sahaf's face on that one card that specifies the pack's manufacturer, along with other playing-card features.

Al-Sahaf's whereabouts since that time have been unknown. However, rumors persist that al-Sahaf had surrendered to the Americans in the hopes of opening his own theater in Branson, Mo.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at June 25, 2003 12:39 AM | TrackBack