The Associated Press’ Undeserved Pulitzer

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On Monday in New York City, would-be jihadist Zarein Ahmedzay testified in Brooklyn federal court that co-conspirator Adis Medunjanin “was committed” to carrying out a wave of terrorist attacks in New York City. A third man, Najibullah Zazi, has already pleaded guilty to the plot that was unraveled by the New York Police Department (NYPD) and the FBI. On the same day, the Associated Press (AP) won a Pulitzer Prize for a series of stories “revealing the New York Police Department’s widespread spying on Muslims.” It was precisely such “spying” that thwarted several terrorist plots all designed to once again to kill untold numbers of innocent New Yorkers.

The Pulitzer Board at Columbia University cited AP reporters Matt Apuzzo, Adam Goldman, Eileen Sullivan and Chris Hawley “for their spotlighting of the New York Police Department’s clandestine spying program that monitored daily life in Muslim communities, resulting in congressional calls for a federal investigation, and a debate over the proper role of domestic intelligence gathering.”

Here’s what not debatable: the NYPD has thwarted fourteen separate plots against New Yorkers since 9/11. Furthermore, the AP’s and Pulitzer Prize Committee’s sensibilities are completely at odds with the public. A poll by Quinnipiac University revealed that voters, by a margin of 59-28 percent, believe the NYPD has behaved appropriately in dealing with Muslims, and approve of the way the NYPD is doing its job in general by a margin of 63-31 percent. A whopping 82 percent also think the NYPD has done an effective job of combating terrorism. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly? He enjoys a 64-25 percent approval rating.

“New Yorkers brush aside the gripes about police surveillance of the Muslim community,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “Voter approval of the way police are handling terrorism is through the roof and overall approval for police in general and for Commissioner Ray Kelly is undented by criticism.”

None of it matters to those determined to undermine the strategy. In February, the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) demanded that the NYPD be investigated for using federal drug fighting funds to help underwrite its surveillance of Muslim mosques and businesses. “We are deeply concerned that federal resources may have been used and spying information stored in violation of federal regulations that protect Americans’ privacy and constitutional rights against law enforcement overreach,” said Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU’s National Security Project. In March, Attorney General Eric Holder claimed he was “disturbed,” and that the NYPD’s methods for combatting terrorism are “under review at the Justice Department.” 34 members of Congress demanded a federal investigation, as did the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), while schools such as Yale, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Buffalo condemned surveillance aimed at their students.

The ever-reliable New York Times piled on, noting that a lack of sufficient supervision “of this formidable and far-flung intelligence operation…operating in secrecy and under murky rules” was an invitation for the NYPD “to abuse their powers.” New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Newark Mayor Cory Booker also criticized the NYPD’s tactics when it was revealed that some of their leads have taken them across the river into the Garden State and other Northeast locations. Michael Ward, director of the FBI’s Newark division, contended that the expansion of investigations into New Jersey was undermining the FBI’s ability to gather counter-terrorism intelligence.

Commissioner Kelly and Mayor Michael Bloomberg remained unrepentant. Kelly defended the practice of using federal drug funds (whose specific allocation cannot be controlled by the feds) to combat terror, noting that the NYPD had arrested 44 terrorism suspects and the department’s “primary goal is to keep this city safe and save lives.” Eric Holder has yet to file any charges at all, and Mayor Bloomberg defended the expansion of investigations outside of New York, noting that the city has been granted limited ability to conduct investigations in the Garden State. “Anything we’ve done in New Jersey, we have done under an agreement with the state of New Jersey that was signed by a previous governor, and still remains in effect,” he said. He further contended that the NYPD “goes where there are allegations. And they look to see whether those allegations are true,” he told reporters in February. “That’s what you’d expect them to do. That’s what you’d want them to do. Remind yourself when you turn out the light tonight.”

The NYPD also reminded those criticizing its expanded investigations of an inconvenient truth: the bomb that was detonated at the World Trade Center in 1993 was built in New Jersey, and would-be Times Square bomber Faisal Shazad assembled his device in Connecticut. Commissioner Kelly emphasized the point. “We have to be cognizant of what’s going on in the surrounding area. Obviously, it would be naive to limit our focus just to the five boroughs of New York City,” he said.

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  • Larry

    The AP recently ran an article on school killings that described the deaths in Beslan as being attributable to "guerillas".

    Michelle Malkin has it exactly right when she refers to them as Associated (with terrorists) Press. They really are the mouth piece of a fifth column.

  • Chezwick

    The biggest problem with the AP's politicizing of hard news is its reach. Hundreds of newspaper's all over the country run AP dispatches…and there is of course, no comparable conservative or centrist news agency to offer a different perspective.

    The AP increasingly relies on local "stringers" to cover international news. This is just one aspect of the collapsing standards of the MSM.

    Other examples of AP's bias…

    Reporting on Nigeria's decade-long descent into communal violence, AP refuses to differentiate between perpetrators (Muslim) and victims (Christian). It wrongly attributes this violence to things like "land disputes" and "grazing rights for cattle-herders." Anyone remotely familiar with the violence knows that religious hatred is the driver.

    Whenever reporting on Shia-Sunni violence in Pakistan, AP almost invariably adds the qualifier that "most Shias and Sunnis live side-by-side peacefully." Even if this is technically true, why the necessity for editorializing? Did the AP EVER add such a qualifier when reporting on Catholic-Protestant violence in Northern Ireland?

    There are many other examples if one has the patience to read such tripe.

    • ziontruth

      "The AP increasingly relies on local 'stringers' to cover international news."

      Yeah, all those Arab names undersigning every item on the Jewish–Muslim conflict in the Middle East.

      Information starvation is the way to go with those abusers of the Western democracies' kindness. That, and official cease-and-desist notices from the government of the Jewish State.

      • wsk

        Yor're right! I just scanned the recent Middle East AP articles and most writers have Arab/ Muslim names.

        • Schlomotion

          If they were Jewish and someone pointed it out, you would scream your fool heads off.

          • Western Canadian

            But then bigots like you claim the media is run by the ‘jooos’ anyway, so go away and pretend you are not the only one on the planet who takes you seriously.

          • Schlomotion

            I didn't claim anything. You're the one claiming that Edgar Bronfman, Sumner Redstone, Haim Saban, Arthur Sulzberger, Sidney Harman, Michael Eisner, Hilary Rosen, Julius Genachowski, and Rupert Murdoch don't exist. Why did you bring that up?

  • Ronald Johnston

    When we finally deport all the radical muslims, all our mainstream news media need to be included in the deportation!!!!!

  • Chris Gleason

    Thank God for NYPD and Commissioner Kelly! Police departments all over the country should be doing this job as well.

  • John C. Davidson

    I once was awarded a trophy for salesman of the month and shortly afterwards found out I had to find another place to work. I upset my boss. He was number two. So, from then on, I bought my own awards. They really don't mean anything cosidering the source. What matters is your motivation.

    • johnnywoods

      The Pulitzer Prize has become as worthless as the "No Bull Peace Prize", as I like to call it after they awarded it to Arafat.

  • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

    Mr. Ahlert is attacking the Pulitzer Prize committee for reporting on the NYPD Stasi, which is raiding the War on Drugs funds budget, and having mission creep into bordering states. He tries to bolster this with obscure opinion polls. It is Israel’s defense strategy extrapolated to Mayor Bloomberg’s New York.

    • wsk

      I'm guessing if the NYPD were looking for stupid then they would be hanging outside your mom's basement……

  • Kathleen3

    The Left have so tainted almost everything we once revered that it has reached the point whereby both the Nobel Peace Prize and the Pulitzer are held in as high regard as the trophy a kindergarten graduate brings home in June.

    • Schlomotion

      It's almost like what Andrew Breitbart did to "journalism."

  • CALLEEGIRL

    The AP gets a Pulitzer and BHO gets THE NOBEL PEACE prize BOTH are outrageous abuse of BOTH! Whoever voted for either should have to wear a sign around their neck saying “I voted for the AP
    and BHO”!!!

  • Elizabeth

    Back in the day when the MAFIA was a threat to society, the NYPD spied on certain places where Italians were known to gather.
    As good American citizens , we all understood the necessity and the reasoning behind this spying.
    But now we have unAmerican liberals and progressives calling the shots and it's disgusting.

  • Stan Lee

    There are two awards that meant something in days gone by, that really should mean nothing now. They should earn nothing except for public derision.
    One is the Nobel Peace Prize. if Obama can be awarded a peace prize for doing nothing, that award is not worth anything. Those five Norwegians deciding the Peace Prize outcome need to be retired, and perhaps the prize, too.
    The other award is the Pulitzer, which long ago lost its stature to mediocrity just as in the Nobel. IT awards political agendas masked as journalism. Today's journalism is the result of Communist infiltration of journalism schools. There's hardly any news or commentary that hasn't been tainted by the politics of Communist thought and motivations.

  • Bugs

    Right…and wiretapping the Mafia is discrimination against Italian-Americans.

  • Dominic

    Don't ever forget who awards the Pulitzer: Columbia university (Joseph Pulitzer provided the money to build the J-school). And Columbia is anti-Israel. I'd go so far as to say they hate Israel. There's that passage in the Bible that talks about "when right is wrong and wrong is right." Well, that's Columbia in a nutshell. Anything righteous is wrong and anything sinful/evil is good. So, don't forget the source.