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While it’s been a tough week for the press in general, the Associated Press has been on a distinctive losing streak.
This is Memorial Day weekend and for many Americans, it is a time of communal activities. Gatherings with friends and family to kick off the summer, working around the home, and many other options abound while taking time to reflect on the sacrifices made by the military for our nation’s benefit and betterment. Monday is for many a day off, and one particular news outlet that would benefit from this day off would be the Associated Press.
Now, I will allow that this may, in fact, be the case; it would make sense that the bulk of the AP professional staff checked out early for an extended weekend and left the keys and passwords on the desk for the stringers and interns, based on the recent output from the news syndicate. Over the past few days, the AP has put out a number of pieces any one of which would make one question what is going on. To see this clutch of foibles in quick succession means it would be understandable if the editors simply locked all the doors and forced the entire staff to take a break for a day or two.
To start, as RedState‘s Teri Christoph covered here, we were granted a lecture from the AP on how our weekend cookouts could be improved by going meatless for our barbeque. Look, I get that there are those who might prefer a vegetarian option for — well, any meal. But how is this regarded as an AP news item? Vegetarians already have a plethora of sources they rely on for food options and recipes. The AP polluting the holiday cookout with this crime against palates is completely unneeded.
But this was the most innocuous of the reports we have recently received. Next, we have from Saturday this entry from the outlet about the passing of NFL great, Jim Brown.
Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown, an unstoppable running back who retired at the peak of his brilliant career to become an actor as well as a prominent civil rights advocate during the 1960s, has died. He was 87. https://t.co/bnhTbNhOES
— The Associated Press (@AP) May 27, 2023
Sad, and newsworthy, to be sure. Those were elements in place when Brown died – 9 days ago. The article is dated from the day after, but it is perplexing why the syndicate is tweeting out this item well over a week after the passing. At the very least we need to give them credit for at least avoiding the use of BREAKING with this untimely news report.
Now we move to the Target controversy, and the AP’s stumbles as it rushed to “report” on the violent intolerance its stores are facing as a result of its problematic trans clothing lines for children. The archived article has these details from the opening paragraph:
Target is removing certain items from its stores and making other changes to its LGBTQ merchandise nationwide ahead of Pride month, after an intense backlash from some customers including violent confrontations with its workers.
That introduction now reads:
Since introducing this year’s collection, we’ve experienced threats impacting our team members’ sense of safety and well-being while at work,” Target said in a statement Tuesday.” Given these volatile circumstances, we are making adjustments to our plans, including removing items that have been at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior.”
The syndicate also altered its headline for this report, yet nowhere do we see an attribution to the edit or a correction issue on the article.
For the second time in days, the @AP has to alter a piece due to a lack of evidence for its claims.
Here they changed the headline and altered the text significantly due to no proof of violence at their locations.
There is no note of these stealth edits taking place. https://t.co/2jjzt3l2fy pic.twitter.com/L9mPdGSgMN
— Lie-Able Sources (@LieAbleSources) May 28, 2023
One other example was possibly more egregious — or is it inept?! (Kidding; it can be both!) The AP joined in with the stampede of other outlets to shriek about a Miami school that allegedly had banned some books. As I detailed days ago, all of these “news” sources made the charge without actually looking into the matter, but it could be said the AP was among the worst.
Once again we get an altered headline from the source. Originally, we were told how “A poem by Amanda Gorman that was written for President Joe Biden’s inauguration was banned by a Florida school after one parent’s complaint.” Then, after scorn and mockery, the AP gave the new headline and adjusted text: “Amanda Gorman’s poem for Biden’s inauguration barred for younger children by Florida school.”
While notably different, this is still highly inaccurate, and here is why: The school moved the books from an elementary section of the library and shelved them in the middle school section. They are still in the library, and any student can still access the books. No works have been banned.
Making this all the worse for the AP is that to make these claims they had to ignore the original article from the Miami Herald that detailed this. Oh — also needing to be ignored was the text in their own article defying its headline.
The poem and books are still available in the media center for middle school-aged children, Ana Rhodes, a spokesperson for the Miami-Dade school district, said in a statement.
This has been an amazing string of malaprops on the matter in just a few days. To see this all originating from the same source is rather remarkable.
Seriously gang, go ahead and take the weekend off. You have not earned it, but you all certainly need it!