AP dropping any pretense of objectivity

Did you happen to catch this AP headline and story earlier today?

Bush Using Straw-Man Arguments in Speeches


WASHINGTON – “Some look at the challenges in Iraq and conclude that the war is lost and not worth another dime or another day,” President Bush said recently.

Another time he said, “Some say that if you’re Muslim you can’t be free.”

“There are some really decent people,” the president said earlier this year, “who believe that the federal government ought to be the decider of health care … for all people.”

Of course, hardly anyone in mainstream political debate has made such assertions.

When the president starts a sentence with “some say” or offers up what “some in Washington” believe, as he is doing more often these days, a rhetorical retort almost assuredly follows.

The device usually is code for Democrats or other White House opponents. In describing what they advocate, Bush often omits an important nuance or substitutes an extreme stance that bears little resemblance to their actual position.

He typically then says he “strongly disagrees” β€” conveniently knocking down a straw man of his own making.

Dave Price blogging over at Dean Esmay’s points out that the reporter (Jennifer Loven) is incorrect:

Sheesh. First off, Loven’s “of course” notwithstanding, anyone who follows the news knows what she wrote isn’t true, unless someone is going to claim Howard Dean and John Murtha are outside “mainstream political debate” or didn’t say we weren’t going to win the war and advocate immediate withdrawal. And Dems certainly debate the same way, but there’s no mention of that in the article.

This is straight reporting? It sounds more like a DNC press release.

Yep. Exactly how many articles have you seen out there about the number of Democratic politicians who really DO set up straw men arguments to knock down? Like the arguments where Dems claim they “have the right” to criticize the administration when it’s not about the right to criticize the administration but instead about whether or not what they are saying is right to say?

A commenter in Price’s thread points to an interesting September 2004 post about Jennifer Loven at Powerline:

Jennifer Loven, the AP reporter who wrote the absurd “President Bush Twists Kerry’s Words on Iraq” story dissected below, has a history of writing hit pieces on behalf of the Democratic National Committee. Such as this July 2003 outrage, a “news story” titled “White House can’t make the questions go away”. Here is how Ms. Loven begins her “news story” on the famous “sixteen words” controversy:

The White House defense of President Bush’s now-disavowed claim that Iraq was seeking uranium in Africa has evolved over the last two weeks: blame others, stonewall, bury questions in irrelevant information and, above all, hope it will go away.

So far, none has worked.

Now, that’s not a bad beginning for a DNC press release. But for a wire service news report, it’s ridiculous.

Read the whole thing.

It used to be that liberal media bias was subtle, almost unnoticeable to the untrained eye. Nowadays it’s so overt in some stories that it’s surprising they even made it past the editors. Or maybe it’s not so surprising.

Others blogging about this: Jeff Goldstein, Cold Fury, Riehl World View

Comments are closed.