Journalistic Ethics

This is an interesting story on the AP and journalistic ethics

The Associated Press purchased an advanced copy of the book. It is set for release on Nov. 15.

Let's start with the second paragraph.  It's a lie, pure and simple--and the papers that reprinted the stories know it.  Giffords didn't sell any "advanced copy" of the book.  The book is strictly embargoed so that she can control the timing of the media stories that surround it.  Bookstores, however, have copies locked up in storage rooms so the copies can all be put on the shelves at the same time.  Someone stole one of those copies...or perhaps stole a proof text from the publisher...and then sold it to the Associated Press.

Rather than admit that they illegally purchased and then printed excerpts from a stolen copy, the Associated Press lied and said that they "purchased an advanced copy of the book."  That would be a big story by itself, but the newspapers that have contracts with the AP didn't want to blow a good story, so that meekly reprinted the lie.

What's worse is that the AP not only stole Giffords' book and disrupted the timing of her planned roll out...they botched the story and made Giffords issue a denial. ...

...faced with an ambiguous quote in a stolen book and no chance to verify it, the AP did just what they teach you in the ethics classes in Journalism school...they ran with the most tantalizing, headline grabbing interpretation and then made Gabby deny it.  Nice.


  1. TJIC:

    I can't get too bent out of shape over stealing from a politician.

    Politician's salaries come entirely from taxes, which is to say, entirely from theft.

    ...this is aside from the fact that politicians then go on to earn massively-market-beating returns on their investments because of the ubiquitous insider trading and favor-trading that infects Washington.

    For a politician to complain about an embargo being broken is like Alexander the Great to complain that some of the villagers he's killing by the thousands bled on some of his soldier's swords.

  2. el coronado:

    So whatta we got here, an oxymoron contest? Journalistic Ethics, Military Intelligence, Feminist Logic, Political Honor....