Winston Churchill was once quoted as saying that "a fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." Whether it's an actual Churchill quote or not, I'm not certain. I am certain, however, that it's an apt description of the Associated Press. They are, and have been, obsessed with the Bush administration's war on terrorism, and have repeatedly gone out of their way to drag in unrelated items to use as clubs against the Bush administration. I tire of writing that "the AP is at it again," but the AP is at it again.
The title of the story in question is "Bush Marks MLK Day With Gospel Performance." And that's what the bulk of the story is - what the President's MLK day recognition is about. The President visited the National Archive to see the Emancipation Proclamation, and attended a "Let Freedom Ring" performance at the Kennedy Center. All well and good. But not good enough. Writer Nedra Pickler felt it necessary to include the following:
The president ignored a question about whether Friday's airstrike on a remote Pakistani village was appropriate. Pakistani officials said at least 17 people were killed the attack, but not the apparent target — Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden's top lieutenant. The strike sparked anti-American protests throughout Pakistan.
Because, you see, it is seemingly necessary that all AP stories include criticism of the President, and there wasn't anything obviously racist, sexist, mysogynistic, fascist or otherwise disconcertingly dictatorial about his actual MLK day activities. Given that, they needed to reach for something unrelated to criticize him. And what an item! He blew up innocents in Pakistan and won't own up!
OK, it doesn't actually say that he blew them up. But this is a story about the President's activities on MLK day. The inclusion of anti-American riots in Pakistan, which the AP has certainly covered, is irrelevant. It accomplishes one thing, and one thing only - it drags a critical tone into a story which would otherwise be neutral-to-positive about President Bush.
I've said it before, I'll say it again - the AP is very good at what it does. It's just a shame that unbiased news reporting isn't it...
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