This morning, in a report ("Romney, Obama win; Manchin to face Raese") with a 1:00 a.m. time stamp, Associated Press reporter Lawrence Messina informed readers that U.S. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia "refused to say whether he voted for Obama on Tuesday" in West Virginia's primary. That's news.
In his 6:01 a.m. dispatch currently at the AP's national site ("Against Obama, even a jailbird gets some votes") revising and updating his earlier work, Messina only tells readers that "Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and Sen. Joe Manchin ... have declined to say whether they will support Obama in November." Messina would rather his readers not know that a sitting U.S. Senator in President Barack Obama's own party wouldn't say whether he made a choice between Obama and Texas prison inmate Keith Judd, whose name appeared along with Obama's on the state's Democratic Party presidential ballot. This is how news is scrubbed at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press. Comparisons of the two stories follow the jump.
From the 1 a.m. report, at Paragraphs 4 through 8:
Now, from the 6:01 a.m. dispatch, at Paragraph 10:
Messina's later writeup is a substantial revision, but that hardly justifies scrubbing something that actually occurred -- i.e. Joe Manchin's refusal to say whether he voted for Barack Obama yesterday -- clearly in the interest of preserving his own political viability -- and replacing it with speculation over what what Manchin might do six months from now. Manchin poked Barack Obama in the eye yesterday.
A Google News search done at 8:40 a.m. on Manchin's refusal sentence in the 1 a.m. report (in quotes, sorted by date with duplicates) shows that only eight online reports remain which carry Tuesday night's real news of the night out of West Virginia. Messina's 6:01 a.m. report, based on a search with the same parameters on the first sentence in the excerpted paragraph above, returns 190 results. At least as important, Messina's scrubbing operation was completed just in time for the morning news shows, which heavily rely on AP copy.
It's also more than obvious that a Republican or conservative Senator's direct refusal to say whether he voted for a sitting GOP president in a primary election would be getting far more notice from AP and the rest of the establishment press.
Graphic found at CE Journal.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.