Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Here We Go Again

My "favorite" news source, the Associated Press, posts a story, written in the past tense, about tonight's State of the Union Address--an address which won't occur for over an hour. I caught them doing this over a year ago, when they wrote about the outcome of the vice presidential debate before it even happened.

Click the picture to enlarge. Note the time in the bottom right corner; the address is scheduled for 6 pm PST.

Here is some text from the article:

Hoping to rescue his prized health care overhaul and revive his presidency as well, Barack Obama appealed in his State of the Union address for support for the plan that is in severe danger in Congress, urging dispirited Democrats not to abandon the effort.

"By the time I'm finished speaking tonight, more Americans will have lost their health insurance," Obama said, according to excerpts of the Wednesday night address released in advance by the White House. "Patients will be denied the care they need. Small business owners will continue to drop coverage altogether. I will not walk away from these Americans. And neither should the people in this chamber." (boldface mine)

Granted, the author acknowledges that the comments were released in advance. That doesn't justify writing as if the president has already given the address.

Does the AP have any credibility?

Update: Welcome fellow Instapundit readers (thanks, Glenn, for the link)! Please feel free to poke around my site--I hope you'll like it enough to come back and visit again some time.


Puck said...

As an ex-APer, I can tell you that this is a practice that dates to the era when newspapers were the be-all and end-all -- and needed a setup story for their early editions. The White House helpfully releases "excerpts" to give newspapers (and broadcast media) something to work with in advance.

The problem: Since the advent of the 24-hour news cycle and the growth of the Internet, it looks foolish for the AP -- looks like it's trying to predict the news.

Darren said...

I understand *why* they do it, but that doesn't justify doing it.

And it's much worse than looking like they're trying to predict the news; what they're actually doing is trying to spin the news.

Rich V. said...

No they don't, but I've looked around and added your blog to my blogroll...

SenatorMark4 said...

Your post is too stupid for words! Of course you aren't in the same time frame as the AP or Obama. They are speaking about things as they WILL be. Dummy.

jeffsters said...

Which is why AP now stands for "American Pravda" - well at least to me it does.

Mrs. C said...

Welll, there's nothing wrong with SETTING UP the story and getting it ready for print early. Then, the reporter can add information as necessary. Surely if (God forbid) there is an assassination attemept during the address, any story WITHOUT this information is going to be faulty. For that matter, something just as simple as someone popping up and telling Obama that he's a liar will (eventually) be more memorable than the speech itself. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm not looking forward to the continual stream of catcalls and general juvenile behavior from lefties when the next GOP president gives joint-session speeches.

Their breathlessness at head-shaking or a single outburst will once again suddenly vanish when they feel overcome with the need to spout debunked code pink talking points during state events.