Rod Thomson

When conservatives consider media bias, they invariably jump to mainstream outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN and so on.

But what is often overlooked is the Associated Press, or AP, which indisputably has the biggest media impact because its stories run in virtually every daily newspaper and news network in the country including the New York Times and Washington Post, CNN and so on.

People often complain about a story in the Times or Post or elsewhere, but it turns out to be an AP story. But that is only known by looking under the name of the byline of the reporter or the tagline or citation of a video. Most media consumers don’t do that.

But the reach of the AP is staggering. Just hidden. According to the organization’s annual report, the AP:

  • Produces 2,000 stories every day
  • Operates bureaus in more than 100 countries
  • Has reporters in every state capital
  • Is used in 900 newsrooms around the world
  • And of course, has social media reach of 12 million Twitter followers and 2 billion Youtube views. In this case, social media is small compared to the intra-media impact.

The bottom line: more than half the world’s population sees content from the Associated Press every day. No other media outlet can touch this reach. Most people just don’t realize it because the AP is not it’s own media brand. It’s a consortium. And every bit as hyper-liberal as the brand names it provides content to.

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The AP is a not-for-profit headquartered in New York City. The AP, founded in 1846, is owned by its contributing newspapers and radio and television stations. It operates as a cooperative association. The AP “wire” carries stories from its contributors, but it generates nearly 15,000 stories weekly. It also sells content to other media organizations not in its consortium.

This gigantic mainstream media collective of thousands of journalists around the world is a major contributor to the deep bias and decline in journalistic standards.

Consider just a few of the most egregious examples from this year:

▇ Headline: “AP NewsBreak: US Army quietly discharging immigrant recruits”

The most recent is maybe the most outrageous. It looks pretty bad from the headline. But really, this is the normal vetting policy the Army always does on recruits — looking for anything from terrorist connections, to MS-13 or other gang activity to mental issues to anything subversive. The AP was looking into a program instituted during the George W. Bush administration, which gives “expedited naturalization” for legal immigrants who enlist in the military and receive an honorable discharge. Obviously looking to bolster military recruitment after 9-11.

The AP reports 110,000 recruits completed the program and received naturalization in the 16 years that the program has existed. But Trump nefariousness must be found. The AP actually has no data at all. They talked to some immigration attorneys who told them “they know of more than 40 who have been discharged or whose status has become questionable.” They do not provide a timeframe — three months? Two years?

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Finally, the AP reported (admitted): “the AP was unable to quantify how many men and women who enlisted through the special recruitment program have been booted from the Army…”

Obviously anytime thousands of people must pass a background check, some don’t. There was simply no story here and the AP all but admits it in buried caveats. In fact, they can’t even document there was one discharged. Nonetheless, they still ran it with their inflammatory headline, and of course papers around the country published it.

▇ Headline: “Trump budget would gut science, environment programs”

The headline is bad enough, but frankly, it’s the normal mainstream-media gruel when Republican budgets are announced. They typically look immediately for how cuts will hurt women, minorities and the poor. But the agenda lately is to make Trump and Republicans appear to be Neanderthals.

The lead to the story makes that perfectly clear:

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s proposed budget would gut programs for science and the environment, reflecting the Republican’s rejection of mainstream science.

Not a whole lot more needs to be said. The AP importantly for their agenda connects President Trump’s correct suspicions about global warming data to the Republican Party by getting that in the lead to ensure that everyone is smeared — when that would never be the case in the few negative stories the AP did about Obama

Just awful. And on purpose.

▇ Headline: “Minorities hear division in Trump call for unity”

This story was from the State of the Union, in which one Democrat actually ran out of the House during Trump’s speech. The speech was warmly received by most Americans who watched it — at least until the spinners at the AP started their “reporting.”

Here’s the lead:

“President Donald Trump’s call for American unity in his first State of the Union address struck an us-versus-them tone for many minorities, raising questions as to what extent Americans are put off by a leader who continually draws criticism as bigoted and xenophobic.”

Questions by whom? Well, the AP doesn’t say. The safe bet, however, is: AP reporters and editors!

“For many people of color, Trump’s address before Congress on Tuesday night hardly reflected a shift in his ideology or his bruising style of governance. To them, the president simply softened what he’s been saying all along, particularly when it comes to immigration, and sought to add a veneer of tolerance by using the stories of people of color to illustrate his points…In taking credit for a drop in black unemployment…”

A “veneer of tolerance” is a phrase that would never get past a professional editor who wanted an unbiased story. Obviously that is pure opinion. Same with “taking credit for a drop in black unemployment.” As if the AP ever said Obama “took credit” for stabilizing financial markets — which he did even though they were already stable once he entered office.

We could do this all day with AP stories. The head-shaking part is that most of these journalists don’t even see it. They have so come to equate the progressive, Democratic worldview with good journalism, they often cannot identify their own biases — which are blatant to the rest of us. 

Yet their overt biases are every bit as bad as the brand name Democratic/media organs, but even more influential. They’re just lost in the shadows.

Rod Thomson is an author, former journalist and current TV talking head, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.

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The AP: The Shadow Giant Bolstering Democrats
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