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'Moral' group's continued embrace of unethical journalism

by Jeremy Hooper

Over the past year or so, we've shown you how the writers at the American Family Association's One News Now site will take it upon themselves to rewrite Associated Press wire stories so as to make the wording more in accordance with their socially conservative agenda (adding fear quotes around the word marriage, changing "gay" to "homosexual," etc.). Well yesterday, in a story on California's newly enacted marriage equality, the "pro-family" group presented what is perhaps their most egregious rewrite to date, making such alterations as changing the term "same-sex opponents" so that it instead reads "advocates of traditional marriage." And of course they made no editorial note that they were performing the revisionism. They still attributed the story to AP writer Lisa Leff, without even a slight notation mentioning their changes.

Here, you check out both the original AP piece and ONN's rewrite (click images for full view):

Lisa Leff's original AP piece
One News Now's re-editing of Leff's words

What Newswire Would Jesus Alter?

Thousands of homosexuals expected to 'marry' in California ["AP" via ONN]
Gay couples rush to get married in California [AP via WBRX NEws 2]

**UPDATE, 6/19: Now they've gone even further, adding a photo with a very anti-gay caption to this story:

Hey, AP: Do you not care about this?!? [G-A-Y]

space gay-comment gay-G-A-Y-post gay-email gay-writer-jeremy-hooper

Your thoughts

Hopefully Lisa Leff and Associated Press will call them on their plagiarism.

Posted by: johnozed | Jun 17, 2008 10:04:41 AM

Notice, too, that their article hardly mentions examples of the happy gay couples excited about making their marriages legal. Only the one about the two men (of course men, lesbians aren't as scary) spreading these radical ideas to my God fearing home state of Tennessee.

And of course no mention of the couple who have been together for 55 years. Gay relationships only last for months, or a few years at most, don't they?

Posted by: Bill Ware | Jun 17, 2008 10:46:13 AM

Oh yea, the cut they made is absolutely deliberate. The only reason why I didn't specifically mention it is because cutting an AP article is more within the bounds of acceptability.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Jun 17, 2008 10:53:31 AM

They plagiarized, and basically they claim that their article is the same as the AP's. Basically, that's stealing and bearing false witness. That's a very strange concept of moral activity. If they had quoted the AP article accurately, the plagiarism could have been overlooked because they did cite the AP and the writer. However, when they took it and made changes without permission, it's theft as far as I'm concerned. A writing student would receive a failing grade for doing what they did.

Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Jun 17, 2008 11:52:52 AM

Isn't this illegal? Can't we get them in trouble with the AP?

Posted by: Morry Campbell | Jun 17, 2008 11:59:49 AM

We've been working on it. There is a national LGBT group who has also been working on it. So hopefully there will be some movement on what seems to me like a clear-cute case of misuse.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Jun 17, 2008 12:09:35 PM

Were you able to contact her or Associated Press staff? A good threat from their legal department would hopefully take care of this.

Posted by: Phil | Jun 17, 2008 12:13:04 PM

Phil: Over the year or so that I've been covering this issue, I have connected with some AP staffers on it. The results have been varying; but as you can see, they have not put a stop to it.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Jun 17, 2008 12:21:13 PM

I sincerely hope the AP takes this bunch of nutballs to court for plagarism, and WINS, big time.

My partner and I are getting our license today, and marrying June 28. It's really too bad that the rr can focus (pun COMPLETELY intended here!) SOOO much on gay marriage, and completely ignore REAL problems, such as flooding in Iowa, hunger, homelessness, etc.

Posted by: Gretchen | Jun 17, 2008 12:25:35 PM

Congratulations Gretchen. Save me a piece of wedding cake. Better yet, send a piece to James Dobson.

Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Jun 17, 2008 2:20:08 PM

fr Mike in the Tundra:

>...Save me a piece of wedding cake. Better yet, send a piece to James Dobson.<

ROFL! Can that be the piece that accidentally gets dropped on the floor?

Posted by: Gretchen | Jun 18, 2008 7:37:28 AM

If I could stop laughing it would be easier to see how pathetic these AFA people are...GREAT catch! Thank you for your keen eye!

Posted by: revtj | Jul 1, 2008 2:52:15 PM

Let them, they just make fools of themselves.

Posted by: Amber Thompson | Jul 1, 2008 4:06:39 PM

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