BIAS OF ASSOCIATED PRESS SHINES THROUGH: While casually flipping through the Saturday edition of a local paper, the Key West Citizen, I happened upon a short piece under the “Nation” section about Carly Fiorina, the title of which caught my eye: (as I’m sure it did many others) “Fiorina makes distortion of Planned Parenthood a centerpiece.”
After Googling this title, it turns out that the larger, “parent” piece (no pun intended) of the blurb was written by Bill Barrow at AP, as it appears in newspapers throughout the country, and contains the typical mainstream media’s minimal, begrudging attempt at “balance,” which is then robustly counterbalanced with thinly disguised bias, as evidenced in word choices and selective quotes.
But the patently biased headline itself–without any content at all– appears on the webpages of multiple local papers and televisions stations throughout the country (here, here, here, here, and here, for example).
And the blurb that is being spawned from Barrow’s larger piece is so one-sided that I almost spit out my coffee. The Key West Citizen piece is not available online (the paper’s horrible search engine turns up nothing on “Carly Fiorina” at all). But it’s very short, so I will reproduce it in toto for the Insta readers to enjoy:
Fiorina makes distortion of Planned Parenthood a centerpiece
Republican presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina has spent the last two weeks repeating an erroneous description of videos secretly recorded by anti-abortion activists. That seems bound to continue as she makes her opposition to Planned Parenthood a centerpiece of her 2016 campaign.
Campaigning in South Carolina on Friday, Fiorina said she “absolutely” stands by her criticism of Planned Parenthood. She accused the women’s health organization–it’s also the nation’s largest abortion provider–of pushing “propaganda” against her while being “aided and abetted by the media.”
Oh, the irony of that last sentence!
The AP’s aiding and abetting of a hit job against Fiorina aside, notice the incredibly lopsided content of this blurb. It contains several assertions:
1. Carly Fiorina has spend the last two weeks lying;
2. She has been lying about Planned Parenthood videos that were “secretly recorded by anti-abortion activists”;
3. Fiorina opposes Planned Parenthood; and
4. Planned Parenthood is a provider of “women’s health,” which just happens to also include a large number of abortions.
There is no discussion of the content of the videos at all. The piece implies that there are some loony bin, right-wing activists who have secretly recorded some videos that distort Planned Parenthood, a provider of “women’s health.” Most readers, who rely on the mainstream media, have probably never even seen these disgusting Planned Parenthood videos. So they read this piece and assume that Cary Fiorina is going around lying about them simply because she–like other conservatives, of course–is opposed to “women’s health.”
She is, in short, a woman who cannot be trusted on women’s issues. The desired implication for the reader of the AP piece is that Carly Fiorina is a liar and opposed to “women’s health.”
One cannot even imagine the AP running a piece on Hillary Clinton that is so overtly biased. I mean, Hillary would never lie or distort anything, right?