Here’s a real head-scratcher. On September 9, the Associated Press ran this story, critical of Gov. Rick Perry:
Texas wildfire victims wondering where Perry is
BASTROP, Texas (AP) — Residents affected by a devastating Central Texas wildfire are growing impatient with state officials and questioning why Gov. Rick Perry hasn’t spent more time there.
Some residents yelled at Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst when he visited the command center in Bastrop County Friday, asking where Perry is and why they haven’t had any housing help. Wildfires have destroyed nearly 1,400 homes about 25 miles from Austin. Perry, running for the Republican nomination for president, interrupted his campaign and returned to Texas for two days before heading to California for a debate Wednesday. He is now fundraising in California.
Perry’s office said “everything that needs to be done to respond to these fires is being done.” Dewhurst said the White House hasn’t yet replied to a request for federal aid.
Then, Saturday morning, this appeared where the story had been:
BASTROP, Texas — The Associated Press has withdrawn its story about Texas residents questioning why Gov. Rick Perry has not spent more time in areas affected by wildfires. The single person who asked about Perry’s involvement was not an area resident.
Your Ethics Alarms quiz question for the weekend: Which is more significant:
- That AP reporters would fabricate and run an entire item criticizing the GOP Texas governor based on a source with no validity at all, and that AP editors would run it, or
- That the AP ultimately killed the story when it determined that the story was garbage?
In other words, is the AP unethical and biased, but without sufficient nerve to go all the way, or jaw-droppingly incompetent and without quality controls, though possessing the integrity to correct a mistake?
You are on your own on this one.
[Thanks to Popehat]