Failure to heed Rush Limbaugh's Thursday warning relating to another matter ("If I were you, I would regard every AP story, particularly this year, as nothing more than a propaganda piece for the reelection of Barack Obama") is allowing the Associated Press to perpetuate what I demonstrated on Friday is a totally unsupported falsehood concerning a statement made by presidential candidate Rick Santorum.
What Santorum said was a clearly conditional statement (full context and here): "If you’re going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk with what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate of the future." Here is what the AP's headline writers and the wire service's Will Weissert twisted things on Friday (saved here at host for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes):
Rush Limbaugh was right yesterday when he suggested that "If I were you, I would regard every AP (Associated Press) story, particularly this year, as nothing more than a propaganda piece for the reelection of Barack Obama." Rush fan Matt Drudge, who currently has a deliberately misleading AP report linked at the top of his Drudge Report, would do well to heed Rush's suggestion.
The AP story by Will Weissert concerns what GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum said yesterday about Mitt Romney. What Santorum actually said was that “If they’re going to be a little different (Romney compared to President Barack Obama), we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk of what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate for the future.” Notice that the statement is conditional, and that if Romney can demonstrate that he is more than "a little different," Santorum's concern is no longer valid. That's not what Weissert's headline or copy portray (HT to a NewsBusters emailer; bold is mine):
Associated Press writer Will Weissert apparently thought that the Communist government in Cuba wasn't doing a good enough job of white washing and glorifying Fidel Castro's legacy and decided to try his hand at it. Thus he wrote a little piece describing the humble hut that Castro used as a head quarters during his Communist rebellion:
Before he was Cuba's unchallenged "Maximum Leader," Fidel Castro was a guerrilla warrior who slept in a hut made of sticks and palm leafs, with a hole-in-the-ground outhouse at the bottom of a hill.
Update (17:35): Paul Colford with AP e-mailed me with an updated obit posted at 14:40 EST that had more information. See more at bottom of the post.
Philip Agee, a leftist who exposed fellow CIA operatives by name in a book he published in the 1970s has died in Cuba. Agee's perfidy was one reason Congress in 1982 passed the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. If that doesn't ring a bell, that's precisely the law that Bush administration critics charged Karl Rove and/or Scooter Libby violated in the "outing" of CIA agent Valerie Plame.
Yet while the Plame case was a media obsession for roughtly four years, the AP's Will Weissert buried that detail deep in its January 9 obituary. What's more, the wire service practically painted Agee's defection to Cuba as retirement from CIA work to the private sector: