Getting Things Done at the AP

Power Line reader Kevin Bailey thinks he was responsible for changing the headline on the Associated Press story we attacked over the weekend from “Bush Twists Kerry’s Words on Iraq” to “Bush, Kerry, Twisting Each Other’s Words”:

I called the main office in NY immediately upon seeing the headline. After politely hearing me out, the girl there put me in touch with the D.C. office. A man named Tom Strong in the D.C. office tried to pawn me off on an automated comment line. When I refused, and asked to speak with someone who could get the headline changed (I offered the exact modified headline they used to both Strong and the girl in NY), he became belligerent, before hanging up on me abruptly.
I called back the NY office, reporting Strong’s behavior to the same lady, and once more voicing my displeasure in a measured calm way at the obvious bias in the headline. Off the record, she admitted that it was biased. After we hung up, I went back to my newspage, refreshed the AP wire, and 5-10 minutes later, it was changed to the EXACT headline I had suggested, WORD-FOR-WORD.

So tenacity pays off, even at the AP. Of course, the new headlline, while an improvement, is still inacurate, since, as we pointed out over the weekend, reporter Jennifer Loven actually cites not a single example of President Bush twisting John Kerry’s words.
The Associated Press has a long history of zero accountability, but that will change if we stay relentlessly on the case.


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