July 19, 2009

Biased Much? AP Sanford Headline Straight From the Snarkiest of Blogs

You don’t have to be one of South Carolina Mark Sanford’s few remaining supporters or sympathizers (and I am neither) to recognize the following AP headline as ridiculously, sarcastically biased:

APsanfordHeadlineAnd2Paras071909

While this headline might be good water cooler and late-night comedy fodder (perhaps that was the point?), it’s more than a little unprofessional, and beyond that more than likely inaccurate.

To headline that Sanford is “cheating” is to assume that he still is. How does Seanna Adcox or anyone else at AP know that? If they do, they owe us new evidence.

That isn’t to say that there isn’t a lot of justification for wondering whether it was a good idea for Sanford to publish an open letter to his state’s residents — and of course, the rest of the world — that moves from spiritual musings, to promises to do better with God’s help (NOT, as implied in the AP’s headline, passively having “God …. make him better”), to hope that a changed approach on his part will lead to a “far more productive last (legislative) session.”

The full context of where the AP would claim to justify the “God will make him better” portion of its headline follows:

…. life is indeed about way more than public standing or political views, it’s about recognizing that none of us are the arbiters of truth, that there are moral absolutes and that there is a God to whom we will all report for our actions.

My failure has been most glaring on this front, where no public apology can make wrong right. As a consequence, it is on this plane that I’ve grown the most over the past weeks – and where I’m committed to growing the most going forward.

I’ve been humbled and broken as never before in my life and, as a consequence, have given up areas of control in a way that I never have before – and it is my belief that this will make me a better father, husband, friend and advocate.

It’s in the spirit of making good from bad that I am committing to you and the larger family of South Carolinians to use this experience to both trust God in his larger work of changing me, and from my end, to work to becoming a better and more effective leader.

Sorry, Seanna and AP, that passage doesn’t justify the headline in what is supposed to be an objective report.

Additionally, for better or worse, Adcox’s claim in her report’s first paragraph that Sanford is “clinging to office” isn’t supported by the content of the rest of her report. The best she has is this assertion:

Some lawmakers have called for Sanford to resign, and one state senator plans hearings on whether state money was used to facilitate the trysts. A criminal probe found nothing illegal.

Name That Party trackers should note that Adcox identified Sanford as a Republican in the third paragraph.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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