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U.S. News and Commentary



Monday
Aug102009

Heritage Foundation discloses AP outsourcing news to nonprofits

At times I’ve thought maybe I am too critical of the Associated Press—I disagree with the wire service writers’ slant very often. But a column at The Heritage Foundation shed light on what I often perceived as pro-Democrat bias. Ken McIntyre’s ‘Associated Press outsourcing to leftist nonprofits is a bad idea’ is a real eye-opener. You might print that and hand it out to friends and family.

I had no idea the AP was outsourcing news to freelancers and others associated with non-profit organizations most of us would view as statist in their thinking. Sure, most non-profits declare they’re nonpartisan. Both statists and conservatives do this and it’s their right to do so. It is definitely the right of the AP to lean in any political direction they choose—this is America. But as a reader, and as a hometown newspaper subscriber, I like to know the facts, especially if a column portrayed as news comes from an organization with a political preference.

McIntyre wrote, “Earlier this summer, the 163-year-old news cooperative announced it would distribute ‘watchdog and investigative journalism’ penned not by its own staff or that of member papers, but by four outside groups: the Center for Investigative Reporting in Berkeley, Calif.; New York-based ProPublica; and two D.C. outfits, the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) and the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University.”

The reach of the wire service is influential—the AP, said McIntyre, provides content to 1,500 newspapers. He added, “AP, itself a not-for-profit enterprise, identified the four organizations as ‘civic-minded’ nonprofits. They also all have decidedly liberal sponsors. A cursory glance at the ‘independent’ news shops reveals their reliance on left-tilting patrons such as the Knight Foundation and leftist donors such as financier Herbert Sandler and currency speculator George Soros.”

Recall the Sandlers were the subject of a Saturday Night Live skit about the mortgage meltdown; they protested so much the Associated Press ran a story wherein Sandler defended his actions.

Slate did a piece in 2007 about the Sandlers funding ProPublica, a nonprofit “investigative journalism” group, one of the groups providing content to the AP.

I recently called the AP to task for a poorly constructed article about Democrats and special interests; I also emailed the wire service but will more than likely not see a response.

I agree with McIntyre—if you’re going to use partisan copy, i.d. the source.

The Slate article said ProPublica gives the content away free. As the media market shrinks for self-employed content providers, AKA freelancers, you’d think they’d wise up.

And I can assure you, if content is provided free to an organization or news service, there's a slant.

Welcome to the government-media complex. It’s nothing new, and it’s entirely legal. I’ve mentioned one of my favorite websites, I Hate the Media. The site does a great job exposing bias.

Newsbusters recently reported 13 staffers from bluechip media have joined the administration of President Barack Obama. In politics, there's a "non-surprise" every day, yes?

But remind your friends and family of something they already know—you really can’t trust the media, not the blue chippers anyway. At least when you read columns like The US Report, you know exactly where we stand--on the other side of the street from the Pelosi-Reid cartel.

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