September 17, 2008

AP Sanitizes Sebelius Racism Accusations Against GOP

APlogoUpsideDownEd Morrissey of Hot Air noted a revision to an existing Associated Press report carried in the Miami Herald yesterday. It concerned Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius’s accusations that Republicans are engaging in racial “code word” campaigning.

The original version that Morrissey cached is here; the revision is here (for now; backup is at my web host here if it changes).

Among other adds, changes, and deletes, the revision deleted a racial reference in the original headline. It also removed a direct quote from Sebelius that “(Republicans) are not going to go lightly into the darkness.”

Morrissey wasn’t sure at the time he noted the revision whether the Herald or AP and writer Nigel Duara (with editorial help?) instigated the changes.

I can tell you that, as expected, it was AP, as the two Google News search pics taken during the noon hour Eastern Time show:


The first search, on the original headline (“Sebelius says GOP using racial ‘code language’”), returns a word series only found in the first report. The second search, on the cleaned-up headline (“Sebelius: ‘Code language’ hindering Obama campaign”) contains a unique excerpt from the second.

Because different versions of the report were and are being carried in a number of media outlets, AP is the obvious culprit.

Here are the first three paragraphs from each report:

(first report, 18 hours old at time of search)

Sebelius says GOP using racial ‘code language’

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius accused Republicans on Tuesday of injecting race into the presidential campaign, arguing that they are using “code language” to convince Midwesterners that Democrat Barack Obama is different from them.

“Have any of you noticed that Barack Obama is part African-American?” Sebelius asked with sarcasm. “(Republicans) are not going to go lightly into the darkness.”

Sebelius was responding to a question from the audience at the Iowa City Public Library about the tenacity of Democrats and whether they would fight for victory as hard as Republicans in the closing weeks of the election.

(second report, 14 hours old at time of search)

Sebelius: ‘Code language’ hindering Obama campaign

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius said Tuesday that a belief among some voters that Democrat Barack Obama is different from them is hindering his campaign for president.

Asked at a brown-bag lunch at the local library why the campaign is neck-and-neck, Sebelius said “code language” raising doubts about Obama is invalid because his life experience “has a lot more to do with me and my family.”

“I think that the notion that, ‘By the way, have any of you noticed that Barack Obama is part African American?’ I think that is for a number of people difficult,” Sebelius said. “I think we need to talk about the fact that that is a real issue.”

Also note how Duara’s “injecting race into the presidential campaign” (which Sebelius was indeed doing) disappeared from the revision.

Morrissey rightly asks:

Why did this story get changed?  Did someone ….. decide that it made the smear tactics just too obvious?  Clearly, someone got second thoughts about including that quote from Sebelius ….

Nah, you wouldn’t want to show a Democrats’ true colors or anything.

Sadly, the AP and traditional media sanitizers do things like this to their reports more frequently than the average reader knows. Here are just a few of many other examples:

  • John Kerry’s original “botched joke” (yeah, right) in October 2006 about the type of person who becomes a soldier and goes to Iraq (“You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq”) disappeared within hours.
  • Barack Obama’s Saturday, May 31 announcement that he was leaving Black Liberation Theology-laden Trinity United Church of Christ apparently didn’t look too good to the AP’s Tom Raum, who thought it necessary to add several irrelevant paragraphs about John McCain’s virtually non-existent “woes with religious leaders.”
  • In August 2006, when British police thwarted a major terror plot to take down 6-10 overseas flights, Reuters reports wasted very little time adding foundationless references to the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts, as well as the Israeli-Palestinian situation.
  • Perhaps most infamously, after the July 7, 2005 bus and tunnel bombings in London, the BBC removed the word “terrorist” from original reportage on the July London Subway bombings that contained the dreaded “T-word” (noted at the time here and here at Weapons of Mass Discussion).

As you can see, original reporting tends to be more truthful than that which follows. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

Cross-posted at

Things I’d Like to Post About Today ….. (091708, Morning)

Filed under: TILTpatBIDHAT — Tom @ 11:41 am

….. But I Don’t Have Any Time For (as ‘Net access continues to be subject to the ability to wander):

  • National treasure Michael Ledeen, about “The One” I refer to as “Mr. BOOHOO-OUCH” (Barack O-bombaOverseas HusseinObambiObama – Objectively Unfit Coddler of Haters) — “Maybe It’s Obama Who’s Too Old to Be President.” Definitely old ideas — “Obama’s political ideas have aged, which is why they have no policy saliency. They’re just words, fossilized remnants of a civilization that no longer exists.”
  • Why Obama had to ‘fess up to his attempted hijacking of US foreign policy “The three problems, according to campaign sources: The report was true, there were at least three other people in the room with Obama and Zebari to confirm the conversation, and there was concern that there were enough aggressive reporters based in Baghdad with the sources to confirm the conversation that to deny the comments would create a bigger problem.” Busted.
  • LGF, based on an Open Secrets link that appears to be getting overloaded — “Barack Obama is the second biggest recipient of political money from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the last ten years. And he’s only been in Washington for four.” That’s lobbying money you can believe in. Around here, Fred and Fan are now known as Fredron and Fanron.
  • Charles Martin’s Palin rumors and lies list is up to 82. #81 is a howler — “Sarah Palin doesn’t think that dinosaurs walked the earth with Adam and Eve 4000 years ago, In fact, this was a purposeful satire that comes from a post actually entitled Fake Governor Palin Quotes. This has, however, kept neither Matt Damon nor Maureen Dowd from propagating them as fact.” Minor quibble: Dowd, who has been in full witch mode since the Palin nomination, actually said 5,000 years.
  • Obama falsely claimed that he came up with “the basis for a bipartisan stimulus package that passed the Congress.” Jake Tapper at ABC debunked the claim (HT Ed at Hot Air), and noted that he didn’t even show up for the vote. John McCain did.

Positivity: Girl, 2, amazes her doctors, family by recovering

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:58 am

From Soulsbyville, California:

Last updated: September 12, 2008 11:25:21 PM

A toddler who doctors said “shouldn’t be alive” after nearly drowning in a Tuolumne County creek Tuesday evening was awake and looking at picture books Friday afternoon.

Lizzie Hanson, 2, is in stable condition at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford.
The child probably will be released from the hospital Monday. Earlier this week, she was near death.

The girl was found floating in a creek near the Hansons’ house in Soulsbyville at about 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Jennie Hanson said she believes her daughter tripped, hit her head and fell into the creek, where the water was about 3 feet deep.

Jennie Hanson was making dinner when the accident happened. Minutes before she was found in the creek, Lizzie was playing with her blue shovel near a pile of leaves about 20 feet from the creek, said her great-uncle, Abraham Smith. The child’s father, David Hanson, and Smith were nearby working on a carpentry project.

About 6 p.m., after a few moments of pounding nails and putting boards together, Hanson looked up and said, “Where’s Lizzie?”

The answer was the Hansons’ worst nightmare.

Smith found Lizzie floating in the creek. Her bright red clothes stood out against the murky water, he said. Her skin was white, her tongue was gray and no sound came from her lips, Smith said.

He scooped the girl from the water, hit her on the back and handed her to her father. David Hanson attempted to revive her while Jennie Hanson called an ambulance. Paramedics arrived within five minutes, and the girl was taken by ambulance to Sonora Regional Medical Center.

On the way to the hospital, Jennie Hanson said she made two phone calls — one to her pastor at Sierra Bible Church in Soulsbyville and one to a friend, asking her to start a prayer chain for Lizzie.

“There’s no reason she should be alive except that God wants her alive,” Jennie Hanson said. …..

Go here for the rest of the story.