The phrase “fake news” is thrown around a lot, but sometimes it’s the only term that fits.
A more accurate description might be “lying.” That’s what the once-respected Associated Press was just caught doing, after the venerable news agency appeared to literally make up a story involving Roy Moore.
On Tuesday, the AP ran a story that claimed Steve Bannon, the fiery Trump ally and Breitbart News chairman, was distancing himself from the Roy Moore campaign in Alabama.
“Where’s Bannon? Moore booster absent in Alabama,” declared the AP piece filed by reporter Tom Beaumont. The story was distributed to countless AP wire service subscribers and ran all around the country.
“Bannon hasn’t yanked his support for Moore, but if he’s standing by him, it’s at a distance,” Beaumont’s AP piece stated.
“Associates say he has no plans to campaign in the state before the Dec. 12 election. Meanwhile, his public statements have gone from glowing endorsements of Moore to broadsides against Democratic contender Doug Jones,” the report continued.
The problem? Almost everything in the piece was untrue, which could have been verified by any barely-competent journalist.
“Beaumont’s claim that Bannon has been distancing himself from Moore is simply inaccurate,” clarified Breitbart. That news organization pointed out that three journalists have been sent directly by Bannon to provide coverage for the controversial race in Alabama.
“In addition, he (Bannon) made multiple public statements of support for Moore at events in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and elsewhere and gave on record quotes backing up the GOP nominee for U.S. Senate in Alabama,” Breitbart continued.
The next false claim from The Associated Press is even more glaring.
Despite the AP’s report that Bannon had “no plans to campaign” in Alabama for Moore before the election, a major campaign rally is being arranged.
Bizarrely, this was already covered by several prominent news outlets, but The Associated Press apparently couldn’t be bothered to spend thirty seconds on Google.
“Bannon has been, for weeks, working with Moore’s campaign to plan a rally on Dec. 5—a week before the election—in the same barn in which Bannon rallied last time for Moore in Fairhope, Alabama,” Breitbart News stated.
“That fact was revealed previously, in mid-November, by The Atlantic’s Rosie Gray,” the outlet continued.
Even CNN — perhaps the original “fake news,” at least in the words of Donald Trump — managed to get the story right.
“Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon will campaign with embattled Judge Roy Moore next week ahead of the vote in Alabama’s neck-and-neck US Senate race,” CNN reporter Rebecca Berg wrote Tuesday.
Only after being called out in its blatantly inaccurate reporting did the AP finally retract its strange anti-Moore claim, and begrudgingly report completely the opposite of what it first stated.
“The Associated Press has withdrawn its story about former White House adviser Steve Bannon having no plans to campaign for Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore,” the news wire sheepishly admitted.
“The AP is replacing its previous story with a new story,” it explained. How convenient.
Here’s a better idea: Maybe somebody should replace the previous media with a new media? We’re working on it.
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