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Sunday, October 26, 2008

AP, mainstream media, use misleading headlines to falsely impute to Lieberman doubt about Palin's readiness

AP this year isn't "Associated Press," it's "Anti-Palin." One of the latest examples is detailed in a guest-post I made yesterday at HughHewitt.com.

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[Copied here for archival purposes on November 5, 2008, from the post linked above at HughHewitt.com.]

(Guest Post by Bill Dyer a/k/a Beldar)

Here's Joe Lieberman — the Democratic Party's own vice presidential candidate in 2000 — as paraphrased and then directly quoted in an Associated Press story early Saturday:

Lieberman said he was confident that Palin, whose foreign policy background has been questioned by Democrats, could step in and handle the chief executive's job.

"If, God forbid, an accident occurs or something of that kind, she'll be ready," Lieberman said. "She's had executive experience. She's smart and she will have had on-the-job training."

Does Joe Lieberman want his good friend, John McCain, to drop dead on or before inauguration day? No, of course not:

Lieberman, I-Conn., who has helped prep the Alaska governor on foreign policy issues, said his pal and GOP presidential nominee, John McCain, is in good health.

"Thank God, she's not gonna have to be president from day one, because McCain's going to be alive and well," Lieberman said in a conference call with reporters.

So what is the logical headline for this story? The accurate one? The non-lying one? I would say something like, "Lieberman confident of both Palin's readiness and McCain's health."

What's the actual headline in the online version, as it appears not only in the AP's own online version via Google but also in the Washington Post, USA Today, ABC News, CNBC, the San Francisco Chronicle, and many other old-media outlets that picked up the AP story?

"Lieberman skirts issue of Palin's readiness."

Bullcrap! Lieberman addressed Palin's readiness directly, without "skirting" anything! He said he was "confident" that she could "step in and handle the chief executive's job," or words to that direct effect, because that's exactly what the text of the story says. And unless the AP simply fabricated the quote, we know for sure that Sen. Lieberman said that if she needs to step into the job, quote, "she'll be ready," unquote.

This sort of headline, ladies and gentlemen, is another bald-faced lie brought to you by the Associated Press and by mainstream media editors across the country. They are so cynical that they're willing to completely prostitute their journalistic credibility — by using headlines to tell obvious lies contradicted by the very stories they accompany — because those headlines fit their pre-existing pro-Obama narrative. They're willing to live with the likelihood that most people will either just read the headlines or won't read the actual text closely enough to spot the lies.

A couple of media outlets appear to have at least skimmed the story, since they deviated from the AP's own headline. The Boston Globe's headline, for example — "Lieberman says Palin ready, but he hedges a bit" — is better, but still inaccurate in suggesting a lack of confidence nowhere implied by Lieberman's words.

 

And of course, the Huffington Post shamelessly picks out of context the one phrase best calculated to convey the exact opposite of what Lieberman actually said in context: "Lieberman On Palin: 'Thank God She's Not Gonna Have To Be President From Day One'" — thus turning a reassurance of McCain's good health into a condemnation of Palin's readiness. That, of course, is beyond sleazy and well into pond-scum territory.

— Beldar

Posted by Beldar at 07:31 PM in 2008 Election, Mainstream Media, Palin, Politics (2008) | Permalink

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