Ed Driscoll

Future Shock Strikes AP

Nick Schulz, my old editor at Tech Central Station, coined the term “Laphams” or “Laphamisms”, when Lewis Lapham, then the editor of  far left Harper’s magazine, described the scene at the 2004 Republican convention before it took place:

Harper‘s magazine editor Lewis Lapham is being appropriately mocked for a major pre-GOP-convention boner. In the September issue of his magazine, which has been on newsstands for over a week, Lapham writes about the “Republican propaganda mill” and the GOP convention:

“The speeches in Madison Square Garden affirmed the great truths now routinely preached from the pulpits of Fox News and the Wall Street Journal — government the problem, not the solution; the social contract a dead letter; the free market the answer to every maiden’s prayer — and while listening to the hollow rattle of the rhetorical brass and tin, I remembered the question that [Richard] Hofstadter didn’t stay to answer. How did a set of ideas both archaic and bizarre make its way into the center ring of the American political circus?”

That’s right, Lapham wrote about the GOP convention speeches before anyone even stepped to the podium. Lapham has apologized for what he’s calling a “rhetorical invention,” use of “poetic license,” and a “mistake.”

But the only “mistake” Lapham made is in revealing for all to see what has long been known by anyone who pays attention to the news: the major media routinely bring to their coverage of significant political events a predetermined storyline — you might want to call it a “Lapham”. Facts that undermine the storyline are ignored or explained away as aberrations to The Truth. For the editor of Harper‘s and other establishment press figures, it really makes no difference to them what will be said at Madison Square Garden because the Laphams are already set, loaded in the scribblers’ word processors and television anchor tele-prompters and ready to go.

Flashforward to today — or to be more exact, actually yesterday, when Warner Todd Huston caught this: “AP Says Dem Early Voters Big Turnout in MD, But MD Early Voting Hasn’t Started.”

Here is an interesting question that I have for the Associated Press. The AP has a story from October 21 that features the news that Democrats in Maryland are turning out in bigger numbers for early voting than Republicans. But according to the Maryland State Board of Elections, early voting in the Old Line State isn’t supposed to start until October 22.

Of the early voting stats in its Oct. 21 report AP says (my bold):

While it’s impossible to tell for whom people are voting, so far more Democrats than Republicans are casting ballots in Iowa, Maryland, North Carolina, Louisiana and Nevada’s heavily Democratic Clark County, which supplied two-thirds of the state’s voters in 2008.

But according to the Maryland State Board of Elections (my bold again):

For the general election, early voting centers will be open starting Friday October 22, 2010 through Thursday, October 28, 2010, except for Sunday, October 24th when early voting centers are closed.

So, what gives? How is it that AP knows the future and is reporting on early voting in Maryland, saying it is high for Democrats, when early voting isn’t even supposed to start until the day after the report came out?

Could someone explain to me what I’m missing?

I’ll bet Louis Lapham could.