Conservative radio host and political pundit, Jed Babbin, did a great job of smacking the Associated Press around in an editorial in Human Events, today. Calling the AP “one of the most politically activist media outlets” out there and pointing out that the wire service is often “caught Hillary-handed,” Babbin does a great job of handing the AP its hat. And Babbin warns that every candidate “who exudes a whiff of conservatism” will see the APs guns leveled upon them.

To prove his case, Babbin uses the example of how the AP is doing it’s level best to destroy the candidacy of Fred Thompson because, in Babbin’s view, he is one of the most conservative candidates in the field as well as how often the AP rides to Hillary Clinton’s rescue quite despite the facts.

The Associated Press — once the gold standard of fast and accurate reporting — changed during the Bush presidency. What was liberal bias has reshaped the wire service into one of the most politically activist media outlets. This is a cautionary tale for every Republican candidate. What AP tried to do to Fred Thompson is going to be repeated against any conservative candidate who exudes a whiff of conservatism in the primaries and whichever Republican gains the presidential nomination.

Babbin doesn’t just make claims, either. He gives some very specific examples of AP’s left leaning political activism. From their help given the John Kerry campaign to their tip ins for Hillary, Babbin gives us example after example of the APs bias against Republican and conservatives.

But his main example for the 2008 contest is how the AP misreported Tom Tancredo’s endorsement of Mitt Romney as a “stinging setback” for Fred Thompson.

There is a small problem with the AP story: the facts. Tancredo did endorse Romney, but Thompson actually benefited from Tancredo’s withdrawal, possibly more than Romney did. Thompson’s campaign staff was stunned: not by Tancredo’s speech, but AP’s coverage. And here’s why.

As reported by The Politico, Bill Salier — Tancredo’s Iowa state chairman — is joining Thompson’s team: “He’s a true-believing social conservative who ran an uphill race in the ’02 GOP Senate primary that raised some eyebrows. In short: He’s the sort of worker bee a campaign likes to have on its side. If Salier puts his shoulder to the wheel for Fred, he could be a major asset.”

The basic story was not contrived: Tancredo did withdraw and endorse Romney. But the misreporting of it was the functional equivalent of an attack ad directed at Thompson. And it cannot have been accidental. No young reporter would be able to do that without an editor’s approval. Or, more likely, an editor’s orders.

If Tancredo’s withdrawal caused his chief Iowa asset to shift allegiance to Thompson, how is Tancredo’s endorsement of Romney a “stinging setback” for Thompson? It isn’t. Which raises the same issue about AP that I raised in August 2006: which of its editors is responsible for the contrived stories? Is it Johnson herself?

As Babin points out and as we similarly do on a daily basis, the Associated Press is an unpaid arm of the Democrat Party. It long ago threw away the credibility it took decades to earn in favor of advocacy for left leaning politicians and causes.

This is a great piece by Babbin and you all should go read it.

Be Sociable, Share!