AP Dishonesty

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Usually when anything at Powerline has any decent criticism, there's a whole raft of trackbacks from critics, but as I write this there are none on this post. The Associated Press reported Donald Rumsfeld as cutting off questions of soldiers about armor with the line "You go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you might want or wish to have." That's just completely dishonest, and a quick skim of the transcript makes that fairly obvious. Rumsfeld answered the question, and as far as I can tell he answered it adequately. He said it wasn't a matter of not funding anything enough. It's just logistics. You can only do so much when you start with the military you start with. Production and capability can only go so fast. As the transcript punctuates it, there are eight more sentences following the line the AP claimed he brusquely used to cut off complaints, and on both sides of that statement were answers to the question. He said he didn't hear the question and asked the soldier to repeat it. He let the solder repeat the whole thing. That's one way to cut off a complaint. Then he gave a lengthy statement addressing all the soldier's complaints. That's a way to cut off complaints brusquely. By framing this as a one-liner and making it sound as if he moved on immediately without answering the question, whoever wrote this AP piece demonstrated true incompetence in reporting the news and true excellence in biased manipulation of the information at hand to try to get a false impression across. I can't understand why any news organization continues to rely on the AP given their track record for this sort of thing.

2 Comments

The Associated Press is not simply dishonest. I and others believe AP employees may be complicit in murders. See, for instance, http://belmontclub.blogspot.com/2004/12/haifa-street-execution-of-iraqi.html

I believe there was a link to something on this at the Powerline piece I linked in the post. As far as I'm aware, it's perfectly consistent with everything we know that one AP employee had some contact with one terrorist and may have arranged for what the AP employee thought was going to be a demonstration and not a murder. Your speculation is way beyond the evidence.

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