“The concept is simple: On major spot stories — especially when events happen early in the day — we will provide you with two versions to choose between,” the AP said in an advisory to members. “One will be the traditional ‘straight lead’ that leads with the main facts of what took place. The other will be the ‘optional,’ an alternative approach that attempts to draw in the reader through imagery, narrative devices, perspective or other creative means.”
So many of our papers write in such a biased manner that our stories and writers end up looking, god forbid, conservative. So we will offer two versions of our story. One written in the traditional way, with a bias factor of 20%, and then a version with imagery that will blow out the bias to 50%.
Also, we will not offer the new versions of these stories online. This way those pesky bloggers will not be able to find out about it as easily.
An example of the differing leads:
MOSUL, Iraq (AP) A suicide attacker set off a bomb that tore through a funeral tent jammed with Shiite mourners Thursday, splattering blood and body parts over rows of overturned white plastic chairs. The attack, which killed 47 and wounded more than 100, came as Shiite and Kurdish politicians in Baghdad said they overcame a major stumbling block to forming a new coalition government.
MOSUL, Iraq (AP) Yet again, almost as if scripted, a day of hope for a new, democratic Iraq turned into a day of tears as a bloody insurgent attack undercut a political step forward.
On Thursday, just as Shiite and Kurdish politicians in Baghdad were telling reporters that they overcame a major stumbling block to forming a new coalition government, a suicide attacker set off a bomb that tore through a funeral tent jammed with Shiite mourners in the northern city of Mosul.
It looks as if they need to issue a third version: Version C (for Conservative):
MOSUL, Iraq (AP) Despite a horrendous terrorist attack that killed 47 and injured more than 100 innocent Iraqis in a funeral procession, the nation’s march to democracy continues as Shiite and Kurdish politicians in Baghdad said they overcame a major stumbling block to forming a new coalition government.
Look, I do not mind the leftest spin at the AP if they come out and say, we are a left of center news organization. When you read an article from us, we will do our best to be objective, but we understand our biases and we want to be as transparant as possible. I could live with that, but the AP seems to fight to the end to profess that they have no agenda. And that is wrong.
I replied to a commentor on another post about the AP this way.
You are correct that the ability to judge a situation just by a persons party allegiance is not the most informed way.
When dealing with the Associated Press, the matter of how the story is framed is of great importance. The AP has a very powerful position in the press. It sets the tone, even more so than the Evening news shows and the NY Times.
If they frame every story that involve Republicans as Right Wing, or when a republican is caught doing something wrong they put the name Republican all over the story, that is okay. But when the stories are about Democrats, there is no indicator of ideology, or that ideology is always portrayed as mainstream, there is a problem.
When a Democrat is caught colluding in illegality in an election, and the AP does not even mention party allegiance, that is a big thing. When this is an ongoing pattern , it is grating to ones nerves. Those who watch the news not with the passion political junkies do, it can create false impressions and create an unfair playing field.
Imagine being in High School. And when your teacher calls on you, there is a sneer in her voice. Then she calls on Suzy Sunshine, and her voice is all sugar. Do you expected to be treated as well as Suzy for the remainder of the class? Do you expect that when she is grading tests and giving recommendation there will be no bias in her opinions? Will she write as glowing a recommendation to University for you. I doubt it, and you will feel perpetually behind the 8 ball.
That is how the Republicans feel about the AP, and as a blogger, you are damned right I will bring these instances out to the light of day. It may change thing, it may not. But the subtle bigotry in reporting will not be tolerated.
So now the AP will come out of the closet a little more, but only for the newspapers. That will keep the bloggers from finding out. As the kids say, “YEAH RIGHT!”
Added to the Outside the Beltway Traffic Jam