Tonight, the Associated Press treated a story about a suit to overturn tiny-population Alaska's ban on same-sex "marriage" as national news — even giving it a"Big Story" promotion. Meanwhile, it kept Planned Parenthood's decision to abandon its legal effort to obtain state funding in more-populated Kansas out of its national site, thus treating it as a local story.
Same-sex "marriage" and abortion are about equal in the pantheon of establishment press sacred cows, and each issue has been the subject of disputes in several states. So the only explanation for the disparate treatment seems to be that the Alaska story's national treatment occurred because it seems to advance one pet cause, while the Kansas story stayed local because it is a significant defeat for the other. In the Kansas story, Roxana Hegeman, as seen in the final excerpted paragraph following the jump, predictably misled readers about the nature of Planned Parenthood's services (HT Life News):
On Thursday, Ken Shepherd at NewsBusters noted that Kansas University journalism professor David Guth, in the wake of Monday's Navy Yard murders, tweeted, "The blood is on the hands of the #NRA. Next time, let it be YOUR sons and daughters. Shame on you. May God damn you." In an update which now also includes a defense of Guth by a former student, Ken noted that he has placed on administrative leave. Yesterday, I noted that the headline at the Associated Press's national site after Guth's suspension ("KU Professor Takes Heat Over Twitter Comment") avoided mentioning KU's discliplinary action against him. Perhaps in response to my post yesterday, the AP has changed the headline in stories with later time stamps to "KU Professor on Leave After Tweet Directed at NRA." But AP's updates still relay information about certain Kansas legislators' campaign contributions from gun rights groups — as if they're at all relevant.
In the wake of his placement on leave, Guth told AP, in the wire service's words, that "gun rights advocates had orchestrated a social media campaign against him," while asserting in his own words that "my plan is to be the calm in the center of the storm." Part of that "calm" apparently involves keeping others from digging into his Twitter history, because it's gone:
The Associated Press, in story carried at Channel 6 in Lawrence, reported (HT Twitchy) that a Kansas University professor has been "placed on administrative leave" after he issued the following tweet concerning Monday's Navy Yard murders: "The blood is on the hands of the #NRA. Next time, let it be YOUR sons and daughters. Shame on you. May God damn you." A NewsBusters post by Ken Shepherd yesterday, since updated to note his placement on leave, noted that Guth is an avid gun-grabbing advocate and that his Twitter account links to KU.
The AP apparently wants those who peruse its national site to skip their story on Guth. The item's headline belongs in the "this is boring, don't waste your time" wing of the Journalism Hall of Shame: