The AP is lost. Do ANY responsible straight-news sources exist out there?
· · May 22, 2023 ·

If there is any area that honesty and integrity have forced me to tweak and adjust my lesson plans throughout my two decades in a public high school classroom, it's unquestionably the unit I teach each year on the role of media.

For instance, I simply cannot in good conscience present "wire services" like the Associated Press (AP), Reuters, or Agence France-Presse (AFP), as textbooks define them: "news gathering entities that sells objective reports over world events to subscribing news organizations." As much as that may be the intent or design of wire services, reality reveals them to be nearly indistinguishable from partisan opinion journalism.

Take the Associated Press as an obvious example. The news agency decided to run a story on an obscure slate of county commissioners in Tennessee. There, a group of Republican candidates campaigned together and seized the majority of the commission, enabling them to implement the agenda they campaigned on – things like rejecting federal government intervention in local affairs, cutting spending, and protecting private property.

Why this would be a story of national interest is confusing enough, until you realize the AP wasn't concerned with you learning about local Tennessee politics. They were fully invested in promoting a narrative.

First of all, there's nothing particularly "far-right" about this group of newly elected commissioners. It's fairly standard conservative positions – fiscal responsibility, traditional values, private property, shrinking government. Secondly, notice how the framing of this story is meant to convey that something sinister and untoward is taking place. But there's not. The AP tweet could easily have been composed to say: "Republicans in Tennessee campaigning to win elections."

The fact that reality is some kind of scandal to the Associated Press tells you all you need to know about their supposed "objectivity."

As does this AP story from just a few days previous:

That anyone employed at a supposedly "objective" news agency could write a headline and summary like that is astounding. That such language cleared all editors and made it to print is inexcusable and is the very type of journo-activism that prevents honest people – teachers and otherwise – from pretending it is serious journalism.

Honesty would demand the acknowledgement that what these states are banning is irreversible sex change surgeries for minors, some of whom have been coerced, cajoled, or otherwise convinced to participate without a full, mature understanding of what they are doing to their bodies and future.

Further, it is a flagrant abuse of the English language to (1) misrepresent these kinds of invasive, mutilating procedures as medical "care," and (2) term surgeries that falsely promise to "change" a person's sex/gender as "gender-affirming." In both cases, reality is the complete opposite of what is being advertised.

Reading this buffoonish tweet, I couldn't help but respond in frustration:

I truly would. Because what's most discouraging is that these are just two examples from last week alone. This is a trend that has been going on for years to the point that it has now become standard fare from the Associated Press. And far too often, Reuters and AFP are even worse.

That's why, with as much as I despise what social media has done to our discourse, I am thankful for it in a profound way – it has allowed people to fact-check and shame these bastions of bias in real time.

It has also afforded people the priceless opportunity to seek out alternative sources of information – something that mainstream voices like these "wire services" lament, but given the jackals they have revealed themselves to be, something that is entirely necessary.


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