AP goes rogue with the facts

AP goes rogue with the facts

Sarah Palin’s new book, “Going Rogue: An American Life” is launching this week to a big splash with visits to Oprah and Barbara Walters. In fact, I can’t remember any political autobiographies creating such advance hoopla. Like her or not, Sarah Palin has really leapt into the American consciousness.

(I haven’t decided whether Palin would make a good president or not, but I’m going keep an open mind, read her book, and consider who else jumps into the race for 2012.)

Anyway, since Palin’s a conservative pro-life woman who commits the cardinal sin of being attractive as well, the Left must destroy her. Predictably the Associated Press offer a fact check of the book and its claims. A fact check, mind you, that required 11 reporters to come up with six claims of inaccuracy.

Yet even six is an exaggeration. Jamaes Taranto of the Wall Street Journal says two of the alleged “errors” aren’t even errors and the third is just opinion. While Palin says in her book that she didn’t “often” stay in pricey hotels as governor, the AP team finds one expensive hotel she stayed in. She didn’t claim that she never stayed in an expensive hotel.

Palin also says she was a victims’ advocate in the decades-long Exxon Valdez trial and that she was happy the final appellate rulings went in favor of the people. But the AP says she was unhappy that the punitive damages against Exxon were reduced and that it took so long for the lawsuit to be resolved. Those are not contradictory claims. The AP is the one that is wrong here.

Finally, Palin says that it’s not ambition, but altruism that led her to run for political office and then leave the Alaska governorship early, while the AP claims that “Going Rogue” has the earmarks of the typical pre-campaign manifesto of a politician preparing for a run for president. That may eventually turn out to be the case, but the AP can’t claim it as a “fact” and an “error” for Palin to claim otherwise unless they have evidence that she’s said otherwise or that they can read her mind.

When it comes to the Associated Press’s “FACT CHECKs”, the reality is that they’re less about facts than they are about the further erosion of journalistic objectivity and integrity by much of the mainstream media. To wit: Where is the honest and objective “FACT CHECK” on Obama’s autobiography?

Image Credit

  • sarahpalingoingrogue.jpg: Harper Collins | Copyright by owner. Used under Fair Use doctrine
Written by
Domenico Bettinelli