I paused a bit before putting this post up because the last thing an AP reporter needs is some guy on the right telling him he did a good job. I suspect that it's not a resume enhancer.
That said, there are two reasons not to to ignore Terence Chea's coverage of the Saturday's Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco. The first is how it contrasts with Brett Zongker's dismissive and incomplete coverage of the far larger DC March for Life the previous Wednesday. For starters, Chea appropriately described the San Francisco march as "massive"; Zongker's story covering a much larger throng in the hundreds of thousands had no comparable adjective. Put the two stories side by side, and the average reader might believe that the West Coast march was larger. Equally as interesting, Chea's accurate description of relatively minor legislative changes in abortion-related laws since Roe v. Wade make a mockery of the left's "war on women" battle cry. I'll compare the two stories after the jump.
Brett Zongker, the reporter the Associated Press assigned to cover the World War II Memorial story yesterday in Washington, apparently felt compelled to try to find someone who would exclusively blame Congress for the memorial's closure. He failed, but pretended that he succeeded.
For those unfamiliar with the story, in an overrecation to the partial government shutdown, the White House, specifically, the Office of Management and Budget, ordered the open air WWII Memorial barricaded. Anyone attempting to shift the blame elsewhere, e.g., Harry Reid, isn't telling the truth. With the help of several Republican congressmen, a veterans' group there on a long-planned visit breached the "Barry-cades" and openes the memorial. Zongker's report took seven paragraphs to recognize that the congresspersons involved are Republicans, and, as noted earlier, blew his concluding attempt to assign blame (bolds are mine):
Is the Smithsonian Institution going to take its prestigious brand and bring it to bear on hot political topics? A positive Associated Press profile of Smithsonian chief Wayne Clough (pronounced kluff) by reporter Brett Zongker announced "Clough wants to combine the Smithsonian's resources to become a major voice on the toughest issues of the day. Among his key priorities: climate change, education and immigration."
Clough is apparently using the political issues in his fundraising pitch, as Zongker explained: "Clough has quietly begun work on the Smithsonian's first major capital campaign with the goal of raising well over $1 billion. ``We need more big ideas,'' he said. "I've talked to donors who say 'Hey, I'm really interested in the fact that you have resources to be an honest broker in the climate change debate ... and I would be willing to put up significant money to do that.'''