Okay, this has gone past the point of complaining on the blog. Anyone who wants to figure out how to do a campaign to get John Solomon at AP fired, I'm game. Feel free to figure out how to target their advertisers, get local newspapers and Web sites to drop them, whatever you need. But they've crossed the line here with repeated stories that contain outright errors and fabrications intended to mislead their readers into believing accusations that are unsubstantiated and untrue.
The Associated Press is outright lying to its readers in a partisan attack that would appear to violate their C3 tax status. They want to talk about ethics? Let's talk about violating tax law.
Rather than explain AP's latest lie, Paul over at TPM Muckraker does a great job, and I'll quote a bit of his latest piece:
AP reporter John Solomon seems to think that the best defense is yet more bamboozlement.Paul then goes on to do his own research showing that there is no evidence whatsoever that Harry Reid did anything to kill the legislation. In fact, Reid voted FOR the legislation, and AP already reported that the Republican Senator from Nevada, John Ensign, recused himself from voting altogether after he attended one of the boxing matches as well. Funny, but NOT voting for a bill is equivalent to a vote AGAINST a bill. So Ensign attended the match and did what the boxing folks wanted, yet Reid attended and voted AGAINST the boxing folks. In AP's error-ridden vendetta mindset, this makes Reid the villain and Ensign the good guy.
Remember back to Solomon's initial version of his story on Harry Reid's acceptance of ringside boxing seats. Solomon claimed that Reid shouldn't have accepted them to avoid the appearance of impropriety. He didn't explicitly note that Reid actually voted against the guys who gave him the ringside seat credentials. But he didn't allege a quid pro quo either.
But now he seems to be saying that maybe it was a quid pro quo.
Check down in today's piece on Reid:Reid told AP the free tickets did not influence his position, noting he voted for the legislation when it passed the Senate. However, Reid had forced a change in the bill that let the federal commission regulate the TV networks when they promoted fights. After the change, the House never approved the legislation.For those of us who speak the English language these two sentences have a pretty straightforward meaning. Reid says the tickets didn't influence his position, "however", ergo, on the contrary, he pushed for this change about regulating TV networks. And "after the change" the House didn't approve the bill. Again, going by basic English, the pretty clear suggestion is that Reid's change had something to do with the bill not making it through the House.
In other words, Solomon is saying one of two things, or maybe both. Either the Commission -- the folks who gave Reid the credentials -- wanted this TV network change or maybe the TV network change was a poison pill, meant to torpedo the bill the House, a backdoor way of killing the legislation.
The Associated Press has crossed the line. They have a rogue reporter who is out on a vendetta, writing outright lies and twisting facts and words to imply things that are completely untrue and unproven. Yet they are presented as fact in order to trick the Associated Press's readers.
I also understand that the AP reporter, John Solomon, has a long history of taking on the AIDS community as well, in a way they are not happy with. Perhaps it's time one of the AIDS groups came forward and started documenting what Solomon did to them as well.
AP, seriously, you've crossed a line. And if you think you can get away with it by simply not responding, then you really don't understand the power of the Internet, or the power of liberals who have finally had it with the mainstream media serving as an arm of the Bush administration. You want us to challenge your entire business and livelihood? Okay.
For starters, any lawyers out there want to start filing a challenge against the AP's tax-exempt status?
Second, we need to know AP's income model. Where do they get most of their money from - Web sites, local papers, what? And how easy would it be to push Reuters instead of AP as the news service of choice by contacting local papers, Web sites, etc.
Third, how does federal regulation affect their business, and is there any aspect of federal law that they've been trying to get changed to help them make more money?
Fourth, what's the best way to impact AP's overall reputation? Protests outside their office, advertisements in industry publications? Where's their soft spot?
Seriously, this is the kind of thing we do for a living, folks. And we win. The Associated Press isn't going to know what hit it.