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AP Aids, Abets Asinine Agenda

The straight A’s in this post’s headline are the only ones the Associated Press will earn as a result of its latest foray into one-sided journalism: The aiding and abetting of an ultra-conservative group’s efforts to assassinate the character of the late Ted Kennedy.

“Reporting” (very loosely, I’m using that term) on Judicial Watch’s (press) release regarding previously redacted documents which the fascist rights self-styled “judicial advocacy” group secured under a Freedom of Information Act request, the media conglomerate scarely attempts to hide the story’s rightist bent. The lede gleefully declares: “An FBI file contends that a young Edward M. Kennedy arranged to rent a brothel for a night while visiting Chile in 1961, a year before he was elected to the Senate.”

I’m not sure what’s worse: The fact that The Associated Press considered the story newsworthy (Prostitution is today legal in Chile, and quite probably was then. Although my own quick online research could neither confirm nor refute that, the AP has the resources to do so.); that its editors missed the single-source nature of it; or that the story elevates Judicial Watch – by omission of the group’s own description of itself as “conservative” – to some sort of neutral, “watchdog” status.

Or maybe all that’s really getting to me is the poor writing. The piece’s use of the word “contends,” for example. A file can’t contend anything, let alone do so without a similarly “contentious” counterweight to its “contentions.” The lede thereby tries to stir contention and contentiousness where the fact, quite simply, is that none exists.

Thirty years ago, I regularly filed stories with the AP. They once had editors, fact-checkers, proofreaders – in short, people watching the store. And while it’s been clear for a long time that those days are gone, this blatantly biased story marks a new low, in terms of the AP’s complete and total disinterest in even the appearance of balance.

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Anthony Noel

Anthony Noel

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