The folks at the Associated Press have a lot of egg on their faces Sunday.
Politico hours ago released a Bulletin Kill from the wire service withdrawing an article published earlier in the day with the inflammatory headline "Sen. Paul: Voters Want to Round Up Immigrants":
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Associated Press has withdrawn its story about Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., saying he sees some in the (sic) his party favoring a 2016 presidential candidate with an immigration policy that would "round up people ... and send them back to Mexico." That quote was in the transcript of "Fox News Sunday" that was distributed after Paul's interview on the show. A subsequent Associated Press review of an audio recording of the show determined that the transcript had dropped the word "don't" from that quote, and Paul actually said, "They don't want somebody who wants to round people up, put them in camps and send them back to Mexico."
The piece still currently available at numerous websites including Philly.com reads:
A Republican senator says he sees some in his party favoring a 2016 presidential candidate with an immigration policy that would "round people up ... and send them back to Mexico." [...]
Paul says people want a party that's "less aggressive on foreign policy" and drug laws. Paul says he sees voters wanting, quote, "somebody who wants to round people up, put in camps and send them back to Mexico."
Now in fairness to the AP, the transcript still available at FoxNews.com does indeed read:
PAUL: I think people want a party that's a little bit less aggressive on foreign policy, still believes in a strong national defense but less aggressive. They want -- the young people want politicians who don't want them in jail for 20 years for a nonviolent drug position charge. So, they want a little bit different phase. I think people want a little different phase on immigration frankly. They want someone somebody who wants to round people up, put in camps and send them back to Mexico.
However, shouldn't it be someone's responsibility at the nation's leading wire service to crosscheck the accuracy of such transcripts especially given the disclaimer at the top of the page:
The following is a rush transcript of the February 17, 2013, edition of "Fox News Sunday With Chris Wallace." This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
We in the business are quite aware that these transcripts from all the television news agencies are rushed and often contain numerous errors.
That anyone at the AP doesn't, and/or that someone would run with this story without checking the accuracy especially given the absurdity of the erroneously transcribed statement is ridiculous.
Unfortunately as Doug Powers observed over at MichelleMalkin.com, despite the kill bulletin, this story is already all over the internet. Unless every news organization that reported it issues a retraction, it's going to remain out there as another charge against a Tea Party senator already despised by the media.
Of course, the obligatory question is would the AP have run with this story without a crosscheck of the audio or video if Barack Obama or Joe Biden were the speaker?
Yes, that's a rhetorical question.