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AP or PR? Wire service peddles the party line
Terminally angry Republicans are at it again. Or so the Associated Press would have its readers believe. "National Republican Party seems as divided, angry as ever," a Sunday, Jan. 6, banner headline blared. ‘Angry’ is an adjective the mainstream media hopes to glue to all things Tea Party. And in case readers somehow missed it, the first quote drives the point home, citing "mad as hell" Tea Party Express Chairwoman Amy Kremer.
On a host of issues, the Associated Press is in tune with the Democratic Party, to the point where it even engages in wishful thinking.
Take the Dec. 26, 2012 story: "GOP shows signs of bending after election defeat." The piece spotlights a remark by Congressman Jack Kingston, Republican from Georgia, as an example of how stalwart Republicans are caving on their core principles, including gun control. "Put guns on the table. Also, put video games on the table. Put mental health on the table," Kingston said. The comment certainly suggests Mr. Kingston, who has an "A" rating from the National Rifle Association, is having second thoughts on gun rights. However, Kingston devotes the rest of the interview, which AP conveniently omits, to explaining why gun control doesn't work, and how banning guns is not the answer to preventing mass shootings such as the one that happened in Newtown, Connecticut.
The AP is also happy to offer its wire service as a platform for anti-GOP rhetoric. A brief, three-paragraph story supposedly on the topic of Democrats pushing for higher taxes on high-income earners dedicates one of those paragraphs to a description of Republicans by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Democrat from California, as a "really over-the-edge crowd" that's dominated by an element of "anti-government ideologues committed to opposing President Barack Obama."
Meanwhile, the wire service has nothing but kind words for the president. A story on Obama's return to Washington from Hawaii describes how his vacation was "interrupted" by the fiscal cliff, which "forced" him to return to D.C. The way AP presents it, one would think the president’s job is to go on vacation, which he kindly interrupted to save Americans from their economic crisis. The AP neglected to include the fact that the president deployed Vice President Joe Biden to broker a deal rather than negotiate himself, and jetted back to Hawaii before signing it. (He would do so with an autopen.) Neither did the story mention that taxpayers would pay an additional $3 million to fly Obama back and forth to Hawaii.
Even while admitting there is significantly less excitement for President Obama's second inauguration, the AP dismisses the loss of enthusiasm this time around to probably just a "natural function" of politics, as well as the cost of hotel rooms. The story doesn’t explain why the cost of hotel rooms wasn’t a problem during the first inauguration. The piece also favors quotes from people who feel "the same level of joy, happiness, excitement and celebration" for Obama's second swearing-in.
These are only some of the most recent examples of AP's willingness to serve as a PR firm for Democrats, all the while claiming to be free of bias. The American people, whom the media was instituted to serve and inform, have noticed; in September, Gallup reported 60 percent of Americans have little to no trust in the media to report the news accurately or fully. And with coverage like this, it's no wonder.
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