A leaked memo from managing Editor Mike Oreskes recently urged a "new distinctiveness" within the Associated Press.
"...journalism that’s more analytical, maybe a fresh and immediate entry point, a move away from text, a multimedia mashup or a different story form that speaks more directly to users.
More than ever, we need to infuse that sensibility into our daily process of news and planning. We need to institutionalize it....
We’re going to be pushing hard on journalism with voice, with context, with more interpretation. This does not mean that we’re sacrificing any of our deep commitment to unbiased, fair journalism. It does not mean that we’re venturing into opinion, either. It does mean that we need to be looking for ways to be more distinctive and stand out in the field — something our customers need and want. The why and the how of the news are as crucial as the who, what, when and where."
More spin, spin more uniform, and spin more infused with facts. A recent attack piece on Romney reveals a coordinated and well-planned strategy for determining people's opinions.
Titled "Romney tries to come across as man of the people,” AP portrays Romney as an out-of-touch elitist.
"Mitt Romney reminisced before a noontime crowd about the long car trips his family took when he was a boy. ‘My dad made Ramblers, so we had one,’ the Republican presidential hopeful said... In fact, Romney’s father didn’t just make cars. He was chairman and president of American Motors, the company that made Ramblers, and a highly successful businessman before he entered politics. It’s a detail the son omitted as he sought to establish a bond with Iowans he hopes will support him in next week’s presidential caucuses....
As he stood at the cash register at a Concord, N.H., toy store, picking up a few gifts for charity, a patron asked him what he gave his family for Christmas. Earlier in the day, he had bought his wife a $285 North Face jacket as a gift, he said…For his sons? ‘We sent them checks,’ said Romney, a multimillionaire. ‘Cash is always good’."
AP makes him seem too smart for common people and full of theoretical nonsense, devoid of sympathy for the poor.
"Sometimes it’s counter-intuitive,’ replied Romney, a former businessman, explaining that businesses often invent new, more efficient ways to compete... The term is called productivity. Output per person,’ he said. ‘Our productivity equals our income’....
When one retired firefighter in New Hampshire said he was drawing a reduced Social Security check because he also had a state pension, the former Massachusetts governor was less than sympathetic. ‘If there’s a competition for who will give you the most free stuff, go vote for that guy.’ When the man said he wasn’t asking for any handouts, Romney said, ‘You knew what you were getting into. … I wish you well, but I’m not going to promise you more bucks’.”
Finally, the Associated Press stick with Mormon bashing. Associated Press uses an appalling bit of fierce sarcasm here. They laugh that Romney "isn't always distant" because he once used a medieval toilet while he was a weird Mormon missionary in Europe:
"He’s not always distant. At an earlier stop in New Hampshire, Romney explained how he lived on a careful budget as a Mormon missionary, using crude toilets and living in modest apartments. He also talked about his time as a lay pastor in Boston’s Mormon church, when he says he counseled struggling families."
Fair and balanced? Never has been, never will be. Romney needs to give Associated Press one of these smack-downs: