The Jay Bennish School Indoctrination Story, and How the AP Avoided Reporting It

It's now obvious that there is a politically correct sickness at The Associated Press that seems to congenitally prevent it from reporting news that would put anyone left-of-center in a bad light.

Todd Manzi at Townhall has the latest manifestation (bolds are mine) of this.

The Associated Press reached a new level of incompetence, and the "news" industry they serve doesn’t seem to care. If you want political opinion, you’ll find it in Associated Press dispatches. If you want news, you might have to read conservative opinion columns.

On February 22nd, Walter Williams, a columnist, scooped the mainstream media. Williams reported that high school teacher Jay Bennish lectured his geography class stating:

  1. "[President Bush’s State of the Union Speech] sounds a lot like the things Adolf Hitler used to say."
  2. "Bush is threatening the whole planet."
  3. "[The] U.S. wants to keep the world divided."
  4. "Who is probably the single most violent nation on earth? The United States of America."
  5. "[The U.S. has engaged in] 7,000 terrorist attacks against Cuba."
  6. "Capitalism is at odds with humanity, at odds with caring and compassion and at odds with human rights."

..... On March 2nd, eight days after Williams’ column, The Denver Post covered the story. The Post story carried quotes 6, 1 and 4 listed above. It also linked to a tape of Bennish’s lecture recorded by one of his students.

The same day, Sean Hannity and many other talk radio hosts devoted large portions of their shows to the topic, and they played audio clips of the above quotations.

..... At 2:16 a.m. on March 3rd, the AP issued a dispatch on the Bennish story. Their lead paragraph:

    "About 150 high school students walked out of class to protest a decision to put a teacher on leave while they investigate remarks he made about President Bush in class, including that some people compare Bush to Adolf Hitler."

None of the Bennish remarks were in the AP’s dispatch. By then end of the day, a Google news search of Bennish generated 302 hits, 107 of which were pick-ups of the above dispatch.

The AP incompetently reported the story and positioned it about students protesting a decision to put one of their teachers on leave because of comments he made about President Bush.

..... The AP and the mainstream media control the news. They set the agenda. They determine what will be a story and what will not be a story. They determine how the story will be spun. Nobody is holding them accountable. The MSM would be all over a teacher who made a disagreeable comment about women, gays, minorities or Democrats. But, geography teachers who attempt to indoctrinate their students toward socialism while deriding capitalism get a pass.

In September 2004, John Hinderaker at Powerline, reacting to my exposure of AP White House Correspondent Jennifer Loven as a political hack who carries water for her husband's environmentalist causes, and whose husband was John Kerry's presidential campaign spokesman on environmental issues, wrote this:

The Associated Press has become a very sick organization. If you go to the AP's website, you find this self-description:

    Founded in 1848, The Associated Press is the backbone of the world's information system serving thousands of daily newspaper, radio, television and online customers with coverage in all media and news in all formats. It is the largest and oldest news organization in the world, serving as a source of news, photos, graphics, audio and video for more than one billion people a day.

    AP's mission is to be the essential global news network, providing distinctive news services of the highest quality, reliability and objectivity with reports that are accurate, balanced and informed.

Earth to the Associated Press: you are not high quality; you are not reliable; you are not objective; you are not accurate; you are not balanced; you are not well informed.

The Associated Press is in the same position as CBS News: it must clean house, now, or face a permanent loss of credibility.

The AP obviously hasn't cleaned house. Hacks like Jennifer Loven still cover the White House while the organization's credibility continues to erode. The AP is no longer entitled to any presumption of accuracy, balance, or credibility.

Cross-posted at


UPDATE: A previous BizzyBlog post on Jennifer Loven's bias is here.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.