Monday, December 13, 2010

Huffington Post Blogger: Shame on the Associated Press

Huffington Post Blogger, Diane Dimond, on the Associated Press's deceptive photo captioning:
"Shame on the Associated Press. When journalist­s turn their palms up and shrug their shoulders when told that they now rank near the bottom of the "who do you trust polls" - as if to ask - "Why? We don't understand­... THIS KIND OF SHODDY, SHALLOW, INSIPID REPORTING IS WHY.
"We're doing it to ourselves, fellow journalist­s. If we fail to police the SHODDY, SHALLOW AND INSIPID among us there won't be anyone left who'll want our product.
To the Associated Press: if you haven't already - issue a correction­!"
Here's the background. The Associated Press published a photo with a deliberately misleading caption.
"Dieu Nalio Chery/AP. caption: Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, center, has her hair done during a visit to a cholera treatment center set up by the NGO Samaritan's Purse in Cabaret, Haiti, Saturday Dec. 11, 2010. Palin arrived Saturday in Haiti as part of a brief humanitarian mission in an impoverished nation struggling to overcome post-election violence and a cholera epidemic. At right, Palin's husband, Todd Palin."
The caption identified Todd Palin, but not Bristol Palin who was straightening her mother's hair. Bristol's face was conveniently blocked by her arm in the photo so it wasn't clear who she was. No woman in her right mind would consider her daughter straightening her hair as "having her hair done". But, the impression AP wanted to give was that Sarah Palin had a hair stylist along.

Poor Michael Shaw believed AP's photo deception and posted a criticism of Sarah Palin at the Huffington Post based on the misleading caption.
"Damn right it's revolting seeing Sarah getting her hair made up like this field hospital is her movie set -- same as it's irksome seeing Sara and Greta Van Susteren wearing far-less-than-compassionate expressions and acting like looky-loos while being trailed by a video guy, Greta sporting a huge piece of gear herself."
He then had to eat the harsh words he wrote about Palin based on the Associated Press's deceptive captioning.

Diane Dimond is right. Shame on the Associated Press. Their shoddy, biased journalism is one of the reasons journalists are held in disdain by most of the public. Less than 1/3rd of the public trust them to be accurate and less than 1/5th trust them to be fair.

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