Bogus AP Story On McAuliffe Warrants More Outrage
Before a news organization runs with a story that can affect the course of a major political campaign, much less one’s reputation, they need to have the facts nailed down. And when the facts are wrong, the media outlet deserves to be skewered and held accountable just as a campaign would for disseminating flatly false information.
The fact I support Ken Cuccinelli in the Virginia gubernatorial race is irrelevant to this matter. This is a matter of ensuring the Associated Press is held to the highest levels of journalistic integrity — as its intrinsic legitimacy as a news organization serves as the lifeblood and ‘true north’ of the media at large. It always has. And that’s why the magnitude of the sloppy reporting is so shocking.
Last night, AP published a story that rocked Democrat Terry McAuliffe, and involved allegations that a person identified in court documents by the initials T.M. had lied to prosecutors. The story flatly said that McAuliffe was the “T.M.” in question. One hour and 38 minutes later, the AP retracted the story, saying they had no evidence that McAuliffe was the person involved.
“The indictment did not identify McAuliffe as the ‘T.M.’ who allegedly lied to prosecutors,” the retraction said. Other outlets’ reporting notes that McAuliffe’s name had indeed come up, but only as one of dozens of investors with the Rhode Island estate planner at the center of the case.
Thus far, there has been little follow-up reporting on how AP allowed this story to ‘hit the wire’ — and AP needs to be 100% transparent about the reporting and editing chain of command.