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06/25/2007

Those who try to take our liberties take same with AP

by Jeremy Hooper

You know what's a completely inappropriate journalistic practice? Presenting a piece on your website as if it came from the Associated Press, yet changing some of the AP's words so that they more conveniently suit your political cause.

Don't know what we mean? Well here, let us give you an example.

Below is an excerpt from the AP's coverage of Elizabeth Edwards' recent pro-gay marriage statements:

Picture 1-85

And now here is how the American Family Association's One News Now site presented the same chunk, complete with AP logo and attribution (changes highlighted):

Untitled-1-15

Yes, every time gays or marriage or something too tolerant were mentioned by the AP, One News Now has taken the considerable liberty of either changing the wording or placing the terms in quotation marks. Making it even worse, they didn't even place their altered text in brackets, the universal way to convey that what you are presenting somehow varies from the original wording. They just took Mr. Elias' words and altered them, no explanation apparently necessary.

Unreal!

This may seem like a small thing to those who don't work in the media or follow gay rights, but it's actually a pretty big transgression. On its base level, it shows how silly these kids' views are on gays and gay marriage, as they can't even write the terms without first shrouding them in a blanket of punctuation. But on a deeper level, it shows once again how readily those who play for the "morally righteous" team will throw fairness, transparency, truth, and ethics out the window in order to fulfill their unrighteous agenda.

You know, we keep thinking that at some point we'll stop being shocked by the ways and means of our opposition. But then the AFA goes and does something else and our capacity for repulsion is once again revived.

Elizabeth Edwards Supports Gay Marriage [AP via ABC News]
John Edwards' wife supports homosexual 'marriages' ["AP" via One News Now]
(H/t: Cyrus)

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Your thoughts

Maybe AP's legal counsel would appreciate knowing that third parties are editing AP stories and then representing the result as an original AP newswire piece....

Posted by: Mike | Jun 26, 2007 11:51:22 AM

I missed this when I blogged yesterday, and I'm so glad you picked up on it! You're right...it is unreal, and I'll have to update my own article. I hope someone in the AP's legal department is aware of this.

Posted by: Kristen | Jun 26, 2007 12:11:15 PM

I cannot believe they did that! To me, that's worse than plagiarism...and plagiarism is pretty bad, in my opinion! Then again, why should I be so surprised? These are the same folks who misinterpret the bible to suit their own beliefs and pass them off as the word of "god". Excellent find!

Posted by: Brian | Jun 26, 2007 2:23:17 PM

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