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September 04, 2004

The Associated Press Caught on a Falsified Anti-Bush Story

Instapundit nails the Associated Press on a false report that Republicans booed when President Bush wished Bill Clinton speedy recovery from his heart operation.

First, he gives clear evidence that the report was false.

Then he reports on the AP's attempts to cover its tracks, revising the story without noting it was a correction and "pulling the byline" of the reporter who filed the false report, Tom Hays, perhaps to protect him....

Captain's Quarters describes it well:

WEST ALLIS, Wis. - President Bush (news - web sites) on Friday wished Bill Clinton (news - web sites) "best wishes for a swift and speedy recovery." "He's is in our thoughts and prayers," Bush said at a campaign rally. Bush's audience of thousands in West Allis, Wis., booed. Bush did nothing to stop them. Bush offered his wishes while campaigning one day after accepting the presidential nomination at the Republican National Convention in New York. Clinton was hospitalized in New York after complaining of mild chest pain and shortness of breath. Bush recently praised Clinton when the former president went to the White House for the unveiling of his official portrait. He lauded Clinton for his knowledge, compassion and "the forward- looking spirit that Americans like in a president."

I bolded the two sentences because if you read the AP's update, it disappeared without any explanation. Unfortunately, it was too late to keep the original report to show up in the print media, meaning if you read the newspapers, you're going to see the original and false story. Fortunately, Drudge carries the audio from the event proving that the story is completely false.

Galley Slaves gives the story on the changing AP story and bylines:

So what's going on here? Was Hays in Wisconsin reporting, or in New York? What role did Ron Fournier, Frank Eltman, David Hammer, and Marc Humbert have in this story? There are five reporters on the hook for this misreporting, surely one of them will want to clear their name.

Posted by erasmuse at September 4, 2004 12:30 AM

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