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Kathy Shaidle

AP goes to eleven! (Now with 'don't tug on Superman's cape' update)

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Posted on November 14 2009 6:44 am
Kathy Shaidle blogs at FiveFeetOfFury, now entering its 11th year online. Her latest book is Acoustic Ladylandkathy shaidle, which Mark Steyn calls "a must-read."
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After petulantly shrugging off media fascination with Sarah Palin’s new book two days ago — “who cares?”Media Matters now features the book front and center on its homepage, and gloats:

AP fact-checks Palin’s Going Rogue

Now: I’ve noted here before that it takes three (count ’em!) employees of the George Soros Steno Pool to tackle the exhausting, labor-intensive task of listening to Rush Limbaugh for three whole hours every day. Then writing down what he says. Then posting his “offensive” jokes on the Media Matters website. In bold type!

But the Associate Press outdoes Media Matters today. Who says traditional journalism has no future?

One man decoded the Rosetta Stone. Two guys with manual typewriters waded through “Watergate”. But today, it apparently takes eleven “reporters” to read a book (“It was hardcover!”), unearth “errors” that aren’t very important and in some cases aren’t even “errors”, then write a 700-word article about their epoch-making discoveries.

One “Calvin Woodward” (hmmm….) cops the byline, but assuming you read all the way down to the end of the story (which, come to think of it, is highly unlikely), you learn that:

AP writers Matt Apuzzo, Sharon Theimer, Tom Raum, Rita Beamish, Beth Fouhy, H. Josef Hebert, Justin D. Pritchard, Garance Burke, Dan Joling and Lewis Shaine contributed to this report.

A report about, for instance, the sorts of hotels Palin stayed in during her campaign — a topic that’s kept me awake many a night. Mark Steyn (I’m pretty sure all by himself) does the math:

That looks like AP paid 1.8333333 fact-checkers to agree with Mrs Palin: She says she didn’t “often” go for “high-end” hotels; they say she “usually opted for less-pricey hotels”. That’s gonna make one must-see edition of “Point/Counterpoint”.

Or is AP arguing “four nights” counts as “often”? Is that the point? AP assigned 11 reporters to demonstrate that four is a large number?

No word on whether or not Palin ate the mint on her pillow. Was it dark chocolate? Is that question “racist”? I await Media Matters’ verdict. Assuming they have enough staffers on hand to deliver it.

As for AP: Might a Pulitzer be in the offing? And can they divide one eleven ways?

UPDATE (3:35PM ET)

But it gets even better. Media Matters’s typo-generator in chief, Eric “the Excitable” Boehlert, rouses himself to accuse senior journalist, Fleet Street and BBC veteran, bestselling author and internationally renowned columnist Mark Steyn of being an amateur:

Picture 3

Hey, Eric: not only does Mark Steyn know how “journalism” works, he even knows how to spell it!

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