The headline at the Associated Press's Sunday morning story primarily about GOP presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney's commencement address at Liberty University ("Romney urges grads to honor family commitments") was at least acceptable. It went downhill from there, betraying what appear to be deeply-held biases held by writers Kasie Hunt and Rachel Zoll against Republicans, conservatives, and Christians -- up to and including a "red meat" reference in what the Administration's Press will probably still claim is an objective report.
Apart from the self-evident bias, Hunt and Zoll failed to grasp the fundamental concept that a commencement speech is not a political stump speech. It is supposed to be a chance for the speaker, at least one who isn't a self-absorbed narcissist, to inform, inspire and advise graduates on what awaits them in the real world and how they should generally consider carrying out the rest of their lives. That, to the AP pair's apparent disappointment and astonishment, is what Romney did. Their opening six paragraphs plus a few selected others come after the jump, with prejudicial verbiage in bold, followed by several paragraphs from Romney's speech which Hunt and Zoll, if they they had been there to report a story instead of serving as Team Obama apparatchiks, would have noted:
In their recast of reality, it's Mitt Romney whose presidential campaign has been focused on gay rights, not Barack Obama, his administration, his campaign, and the lapdog establishment press which have been obsessed with it for days. As to the 5,400-word hit piece prepared by Jason Horowitz and published in the Washington Post on early Thursday which portrayed an incident Romney says he does not recall during which he allegedly forcibly cut a classmate's hair against his will with the assistance of others -- It's "a news report" about which there are no stated doubts (there are lots of' em). Samples of the AP pair's misdirection and opportunism follow (bolds are mine):
Failure to heed Rush Limbaugh's Thursday warning relating to another matter ("If I were you, I would regard every AP story, particularly this year, as nothing more than a propaganda piece for the reelection of Barack Obama") is allowing the Associated Press to perpetuate what I demonstrated on Friday is a totally unsupported falsehood concerning a statement made by presidential candidate Rick Santorum.
What Santorum said was a clearly conditional statement (full context and here): "If you’re going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk with what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate of the future." Here is what the AP's headline writers and the wire service's Will Weissert twisted things on Friday (saved here at host for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes):
Based on a report filed earlier today and time-stamped 8:16 p.m. as of when this post was prepared, it would appear that the last thing Associated Press writers Charles Babington and Kasie Hunt want is a competitive Republican primary season, and that they'll twist reality and the numbers to fit their meme. Oh, and in case you haven't gotten the establishment press memo, Rick Perry is still Mitt Romney's only real competitor.
Funny, I don't remember the AP or anyone else in the establishment press calling Hillary Clinton's nomination "inevitable" in October 2007, when, according to Real Clear Politics (RCP), Ms. Clinton was outpolling Barack Obama by an average of 24 points in 18 polls (and by probably more over John Edwards, though that info wasn't available at RCP).
Herman Cain's victory in Saturday's GOP straw poll in Florida didn't become headline news at the Associated Press until after the candidate's Monday morning "Today Show" interview. Earlier today at NewsBusters, Kyle Drennen noted how "Today's" Ann Curry tried to frame the result as some kind of "protest vote."
Having delayed dedicating a story to Cain's victory for roughly 36 hours, the headline in AP's unbylined story this morning was: "GOP's Cain says win in Fla. straw poll not a fluke." In other words, it didn't become news at the wire service until someone else in the media put the candidate on the defensive about the significance of his win, thus avoiding giving him any moment of unvarnished recognition for the good old-fashioned butt-kicking he delivered (37% Cain, 15% Perry, 14% Romney, 11% Santorum, all others under 10%). How convenient.
Herman Cain won the Florida straw poll tonight, winning the votes of 37% of those who participated. No other candidate came within 20 points of Cain.
As of 8:20 p.m., roughly two hours after the result was announced, the Associated Press's Philip Elliott and Kasie Hunt had a blatantly obvious contradiction in their 6:51 p.m. story ("Perry works to show he's strongest GOP contender"; saved here for future reference, fair use, and discussion purposes), as seen in this comparison of Paragraph 2 to Paragraphs 12-14 (bolds are mine throughout this post):