February 17, 2004

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS'S SCOTT LINDLAW is at it again. After the NASCAR debacle, which the Columbia Journalism Review blog called a "cheap shot" and a "stretch," you'd think he'd have more sense than to go out of his way to fill a purported news story with gratuitous Bush-bashing. Obviously, he doesn't.

Does AP?

UPDATE: Ah, look who Lindlaw is hanging with: "Veteran journalists Helen Thomas and Daniel Schorr join Associated Press reporter Scott Lindlaw in a lively discussion on how covering the White House has changed over the years." Um, it's gotten worse? Meanwhile Dave Hill emails:

Bush has been visiting military bases (including NG bases) for some time. That's one of the duties of a president in wartime.

Now, suddenly, it's become de rigeur to remind everyone of the Bush AWOL meme every time he interacts with the NG, reframing the visit as trying to "move beyond" the story (as opposed to simply continuing an already-established pattern).

"The president's visit is bound to serve as a reminder of a story that consumed the White House last week ...." Well, yes, it's *bound to* if you keep *reminding us* of it.

This is unusually transparent partisanship, even by the not-very-demanding standards of Big Media in an election year. The good news is that it is transparent.

But hey, maybe Lindlaw will do a story on Kerry: "There were women in the room where Kerry spoke, something bound to serve as a reminder of a story that consumed the Kerry campaign last week. . . ."

At any rate, Lindlaw's coverage goes beyond the sort of institutional bias that The Note pointed out last week. This is just campaigning against Bush, in the guise of reporting.

MORE: Reader Eric Rochelson emails:

It is amazing how he manages to both bring up Bush's guard service yet again AND work in a Kerry quote on how he (Kerry) will support the military better than Bush. The online story had 5 paragraphs of guard service and 4 paragraphs of Kerry propaganda out of 23 total paragraphs. So 40% of the article about the President visiting a military base was "Bush bad/Kerry Good" and had nothing to do with the visit itself.

What's really sad is that this undoubtedly went through editors first. So it's not just Lindlaw who's campaigning here.

STILL MORE: Military blog The Mudville Gazette isn't impressed with Lindlaw's reporting -- or his writing.

Like I said, what's really sad is that this undoubtedly went through editors first.

MORE STILL: Jim Miller looks at the polls and suggests that the National Guard issue has actually helped Bush. Meanwhile Michael Ubaldi says that Lindlaw wasn't always this biased.

AND EVEN MORE: Hey, the link above now goes to a different (and somewhat more balanced) story by Terence Hunt. But you can still read the Lindlaw story here.

AND EVEN MORE STILL: The Lindlaw story above seems to have been edited, according to an email from Greyhawk, and I think he's right. Here's what seems to be the original version.