Unreal: AP Cites Teen Intercom Prank As Wal-Mart's 'Latest Minorities/Women Problem'

APabsolutelyPathetic0109Following up on a post earlier today (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) -- a 16 year-old in southern New Jersey was arrested and charged with "harassment and bias intimidation" for getting onto an area Wal-Mart store's intercom and saying, "Attention, Walmart customers: All black people, leave the store now."

Though the company had told the local press Friday evening that it believe that a non-employee had been responsible for the incident, the Associated Press did not report that critical fact (see picture of 7:03 a.m. report here) until mid-morning on Saturday, leaving its readers up to that point to infer that a company employee had perpetrated the act.

Now, even though the worst you could say about the company is that it didn't protect its public address system from customer access Associated Press writer Bruck Shipkowski is citing the incident as "the latest in a series of problems the retailer has had in its dealings with minorities and women." How disgusting.

Here are key paragraphs from Shipkowski's POS (pretty outrageous smear):

Police: Boy, 16, made racial comment at NJ Walmart

A 16-year-old boy who police said made an announcement at Walmart ordering all black people in the southern New Jersey store to leave was charged with harassment and bias intimidation, authorities said Saturday.

The boy, whose name is not being released because he is a juvenile, grabbed one of the courtesy phones at Walmart's Washington Township store Sunday evening and calmly announced: "Attention, Walmart customers: All black people, leave the store now," police said.

The teen was arrested Friday and released to the custody of his parents; police did not know whether he had a lawyer.

"This was an extremely disturbing event on many levels," Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean Dalton said at a news conference. "Any statements like these that can cause harm or grave concern must be addressed as quickly we possibly can."

Dalton said the case would be handled in juvenile court in neighboring Atlantic County, where the boy lives. He would not say whether the boy has a criminal record, citing the teen's age, and would not disclose the teen's race, saying that did not factor into the investigation.

... Although a manager quickly went on the intercom system and apologized for the remark, many customers expressed their anger to store management. Some community members said Saturday that they've heard reports of similar incidents happening at the store in recent months that were not reported to police.

... The incident was the latest in a series of problems the retailer has had in its dealings with minorities and women.

There have been several past instances of black customers claiming they were treated unfairly at Walmart stores, and the company faced lawsuits alleging that women were passed over in favor of men for pay raises and promotions.

By no stretch of the imagination does anything in the final two excerpted paragraphs matters in relation to the current incident. Of course it doesn't. But that's what passes for journalism at the Absolutely Pathetic Associated Press.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.