The AP Channels the Democrats in the Limbaugh-Kennedy ‘Scandal’

NewsBusters.org | Media Research Center

***TWO UPDATES, including the response from AP's Ron Fournier, at the end of this post.***

Friday evening the Associated Press (AP) issued an un-bylined story which was nothing more than a stenographic reprint of the latest dishonest Democratic attack on talk radio host Rush Limbaugh. 

The Friday story apparently reflected zero research into the charge levied by Brian Wolff, executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC).  The AP merely quoted Rush out of context - just as the DCCC had - and then served him up as a piñata for Wolff to pummel.

The AP cites Rush as having said that Congress's current push for socialist health care will "(b)efore it's all over ... be called the Ted Kennedy Memorial Health Care bill." This allowed the AP to serve up Wolff's whacks on Limbaugh; Wolff called Limbaugh's remark "outrageous and reprehensible."

Had the AP done ANY journalistic due diligence, they would have found this January 13 story from Fox News, quoting a spokeswoman for one of the architects of a national health care bill who said that any legislation that emerges would be named after Kennedy. 

More from the Fox story:

"'He wouldn't name it for himself, but the majority of the body working on the legislation would say he's devoted his life to it,' said Jude McCartin, a spokeswoman for Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., a member of Kennedy's committee. ‘Now that we're on the verge of doing something major, the naming of the legislation should reflect his longstanding involvement.'"

So Rush was merely quoting a Democrat, and was then vilified by the DCCC - via the AP - for doing so. 

Where's the research, AP?  Where are your journalistic standards?  Ron Fournier, the AP Washington Bureau Chief, needs to be doing much better than this.

One expects below-the-belt punches from leftists like Brian Wolff - their dishonest attacks are becoming legendary - but from a venerable news institution like AP?

This is nothing more than Phony Soldiers, Part II.  In October 2007, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid led a cabal of liberal Senators in a completely fraudulent attack against Rush fashioned in just the same way - deceitfully taking his words out of context and trumping up a subsequent smear campaign.  The left is at it again. 

When will the press stop parroting these liberal attacks, and instead start exposing these vicious and utterly false accusations against Rush?

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UPDATE: This afternoon I sent an open letter to Ron Fournier, AP's Washington Bureau Chief. I asked for a corrected update to their incorrect story, one that includes his asking the DCCC spin doctor Brian Wolff if he plans on criticizing fellow Democrats for suggesting back in January that they name health legislation after Kennedy.

UPDATE 2: The full text of his response, which AP called to insist be put on the record:

Saying that a bill should be named after Sen. Kennedy is different from saying the bill will be named after the late Sen. Kennedy. (As Rush Limbaugh put it, "Before it’s over, it’ll be called the Ted Kennedy Memorial Health Care Bill.")

 

Brent Bozell
Brent Bozell
Brent Bozell is the Founder and President of the Media Research Center