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7/25/09

AP Alters Obama-Gates-Crowley Story To Be More Obama-Friendly

I was surprised yesterday when I saw this headline from the Associated Press (alterations later indicated in green): Obama rushes to quell racial uproar he helped fire.

The journalistic honesty was short-lived, however, as AP soon changed their headline to this: Obama moves to dampen uproar over comment on race.

Like a car jacker going to work on an expensive car stereo, the Associated Press stripped the report of all blame against Obama for his race baiting, and inserted blame for Obama critics.

Friday night, the report read (alterations later indicated in green): "Knocked off stride by a racial uproar he helped stoke, President Barack Obama hastened Friday to tamp down the controversy. Obama, who had said Cambridge, Mass., police "acted stupidly" in arresting black scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr., declared the white arresting officer was a good man and invited him and the proffessor to the White House for a beer.

Obama conceded his words [ ] had been ill-chosen, but [ ] he stopped short of a public apology [ ]. He personally telephoned both [ ] Gates [ ] and [ ] Sgt. James Crowley, hoping to end the rancorous back-and-forth over what had transpired and what Obama had said about it. Trying to lighten the situation, he even commiserated with Crowley about reporters on his lawn...

Meanwhile, the police union and fellow officers, African-American and white, rallied around Sgt. Crowley, a decorated officer who in 1993 tried to give lifesaving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to Reggie Lewis, an African-American Boston Celtics player who collapsed at practice. Lewis could not be revived. Sgt. Crowley (42) had been selected to be a police academy instructor on how to avoid racial profiling...

[ ] And a Republican congressman from Michigan, Thaddeus McCotter, said he would introduce a House resolution calling on Obama to apologize to Crowley...


Throughout the article, changes were made and sentences added to paint Obama critics as throwing the race charges around and to portray Obama as a victim of racist contention that still exists in America. AP spun the controversy as a remark on Obama's race, and as a Republican political tactic against Obama's healthcare proposals. As you can see from this paragraph AP added to their report:

"It was a measure of the nation's keen sensitivities on matters of race that the fallout from a disorderly conduct charge in Massachusetts - and the remarks of America's first black president about it... The blowup had dominated national attention just as Obama was trying to marshal public pressure to get Congress to push through health care overhaul legislation - and as polls showed growing doubts about his performance."

The Boston Globe removed the police report from their website in an attempt to cover up what really happened during the incident.

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