AP Acknowledges Mistake Supporting #StandWithWendy But Does Not Issue Apology to Readers

The Associated Press, the most powerful and widely used wire service in the world, decided last week to lend its support to the extremist views of Texas state senator Wendy Davis by utlizing a Twitter hashtag #StandWithWendy used by her supporters.

After pro-life bloggers called attention to the tweet, AP deleted the tweet from its official timeline but the wire service has still not apologized for its action.

The since-deleted tweet was issued on July 13 and read as follows:

“Texas Sen. Wendy Davis, who filibustered abortion bill weeks ago, gives closing remarks: http://t.co/z6Q7L7NaOc -JM #StandWithWendy”

#StandWithWendy is a Twitter hashtag that supporters of Davis’s position against legislation in Texas which ensured that abortion providers were regulated similarly to other medical facilities and also placed restrictions on abortions after the 20th week of the 40 weeks of a pregancy.

Despite the fact that the bill reflects the abortion views of most Americans (more than 60 percent of the public opposes abortions after the 12th week of pregnancy), Davis’s extreme viewpoints have received overwhelmingly favorable coverage from reliably pro-abortion journalists.

Judging by a memo that the news agency sent to employees on Monday, it is clear that AP considered the tweet a mistake yet somehow it has still not seen fit to inform readers that it regretted sending the tweet. In reference to the deleted message, AP standards editors Tom Kent and Dave Minthorn urged greater care to prevent “missteps.”

“This was an attempt to get more attention for the tweet, but it clearly violates AP policies on steering clear of opinion or advocacy,” the duo said in their memo.

We’re willing to give AP the benefit of the doubt on this one but it is worth wondering whether AP would ever put itself into a situation where it had used a Twitter hashtag favored by conservatives.

That question is especially pertinent considering the fuss that AP freelancer Cristina Silva provoked last Saturday when she took to Twitter after the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial broke and wondered “So we can all kill teenagers now? Just asking.”

After Silva’s tweet was spread far and wide and her obvious bias was denounced, an AP spokesman falsely claimed that she “hasn’t worked for AP lately.”

Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield, creator of NewsBusters and president of Dialog New Media, an internet marketing and design firm, left NewsBusters at the end of 2013