Wednesday, October 12, 2022

It’s Official: the Associated Press Is 'Fake News'

It’s Official: the Associated Press Is 'Fake News'

Tom Tradup


Chalk up another victory for former President Donald J. Trump, who famously coined the phrase “Fake News.” That moniker immediately resonated with thin-skinned popinjays like CNN’s Jim Acosta and MSNBC’s Nicole Wallace who squealed like stuck pigs, accusing Trump of “threatening the First Amendment” by implying the American news media was honeycombed with left-leaning political activists disgracefully masquerading as “journalists.”

Unlike actual reporters who in the olden days famously ferreted out the details of news stories and reported them in a factual, objective way…today’s news media outlets serve as revolving doors for ex-flacks like Clinton White House communications director George Stephanopoulos and his Biden Administration counterpart Jen “Circle Back” Psaki to leave government and hang out a shingle as “anchors” or “commentators” on major TV networks. MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell—one of the vilest of all TV jawboners—served as chief of staff for Democrats on two U.S. Senate Committees before slithering onto the cable “news” outlet that rarely pulls larger audience numbers than Pawn Stars or Jay Leno’s Garage.

Forget has-been actual politicians like former U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) or even turncoat “Republican” Michael Steele (the former RNC Chairman who exchanged his onetime principles for a pay stub from MSNBC.) Sadly, we have come to expect politicians to be spineless and wishy-washy. But since the founding of our republic, the function of objective journalism was always considered essential to the survival of a free society. No more.

The Trump years were marked by unprecedented shouting matches in the White House briefing room…slanted reporting by newspapers and television…and most egregiously the rise of agenda-driven editors and news directors who abandoned their reputations in full-scale assaults on our 45thPresident. 

Nowhere was “the public’s right to know” more blatantly abandoned than at the once-respected Associated Press. AP (in 2022 essentially a monopoly distributor of domestic and foreign “news” stories) had the long knives out for President Trump throughout his administration, a fact documented many times by me in past Townhall columns. 

The Associated Press regularly cranked out what they laughingly referred to as AP Fact Checks, dissecting everything from Trump’s State of the Union addresses to the menus at State Dinners…always citing critics of the chief executive from leftist organizations as “balance.” AP Fact Checks (or, more accurately, Democratic Party talking points) were flowing like water in the Trump years…sometimes four or five times a week. Oddly, under Joe Biden, they seem to have disappeared. (While writing this column, I went on our network’s AP Website and entered FACT CHECKS in the Search Bar; the only item that turned up was an article titled “Fun Facts About Tacos.")

During the Trump Administration, I might have raised concern with Jonathan Lemire, AP’s White House correspondent. Alas, he’s gone now…having walked through the aforementioned revolving doors to become an “anchor” on something called WAY TOO EARLY on MSNBC. (I guess the siren call of being on a network nobody watches is just too strong. And anyway, Lemire occasionally also pops up on the MORNING JOE program, looking for all the world as if he ate a plate of bad jalapenos.)

But back at Lemire’s old stomping grounds, the Associated Press has continued to devolve from a former news agency into the linear equivalent of a digital bund meeting where any conservative is fair game for biased coverage. Or none.

This week, for example, Donald Trump was booked as the keynote speaker at the October 5th“Hispanic Leadership Conference” in Miami. Sensing good “copy” and potential sound bites, my Salem Radio News network—as clients of AP, or “members” as they prefer—inquired if they planned to provide audio coverage of Trump’s remarks. Hoo boy did that set off a ping-ponging of e-mails from one AP department to another. “Are we planning to cover?” one asked. “Just flagging this request. Are we expecting anything?” responded another. A third added: “Going to leave this to Ron to answer.” (No idea who Ron might be, nor did we ever hear back from him.)

However, the night before Trump’s address in Miami, a functionary named “Katie” (just Katie, no last name) sent this verbatim note:

We are not planning on covering this. Please see the below in regards to our coverage of Trump: 

Please note that in regards to AP's coverage of former President Donald Trump, several facets must be considered:

Newsworthiness - Usually, former presidents do not receive the same level of coverage that they did when they were in office. This is also the case with Trump. As a former President, our coverage plans are evaluated before, during, and after his events.

Standards - As with all stories that AP covers, our editorial team discusses and evaluates stories to ensure that they are held to AP standards. For Trump, this is extremely important as we want to ensure that we are putting out factual information. After the 2020 election especially, Trump has been known for spreading falsehoods about the US election results, which we want to be careful with.

Just let that sink in for a moment: the faceless/nameless “editorial team” at the Associated Press--by their admission--are hesitant to cover a speech by our 45th (and possibly 47th) President because, they say, “Trump has been known for spreading falsehoods about the US election results.”

Does that mean that if Donald Trump declares he’s going to run again in 2024, AP won’t cover his presidential campaign because they “want to be careful” he might say something their editorial team doesn’t like? Who appointed these unelected clods as gatekeepers, denying Americans access to the free flow of information they need in order to make informed decisions as they elect the next leader of the Free World? 

We can board up the January 6th Committee’s meeting room and save the millions of dollars they still expect to waste on more hearings, because insurrectionists at the Associated Press are doing more actual damage to our democracy than stomping through the Capitol wearing a stupid Viking hat or putting two feet on Nancy Pelosi’s desk.

Muzzling distribution of remarks by Donald J. Trump or any other political leader because they want to ensure AP is “putting out factual information” no doubt has actual journalists like Edward R. Murrow and David Brinkley spinning in their graves.  And it should scare the pants off freedom-loving Americans no matter what their political leanings.

But with their ham-handed abdication of real journalism, ironically the Associated Press has handed another victory to their apparent nemesis. Because it is now official:  the Associated Press is the dictionary definition of Donald Trump’s despised “Fake News.”

Why would they do such an irresponsible thing? I guess we’ll have to “leave this to Ron to answer.”

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