In a deplorable accusation that borders on defamation, an Associated
Press writer on Sunday claimed that Gov. Sarah Palin engaged in a “racially tinged” criticism of Sen. Barack
Obama and that her words represented a “potential appeal to racism.”
In the article, AP writer and editor Douglass K. Daniel took
issue with Palin’s remarks about Obama’s relationship with William Ayers, a
known domestic terrorist and cofounder of the radical group Weather
Daniel claimed that while Palin avoided “repulsing voters
with overt racism,” she created a “false image of a black presidential nominee
‘palling around’ with terrorists.”
According to Daniel, “portraying Obama as ‘not like us’ is another
potential appeal to racism.”
Daniel’s accusation is baseless and
injects racial rhetoric that has no place in the presidential campaign.
Obama’s relationship with a known
and unrepentant domestic terrorist has nothing to do with race. In fact, Palin’s argument was that Obama’s
relationship with Ayers raised questions about Obama’s judgment and character,
both of which are important qualities in a presidential candidate.
The AP article was originally titled “Analysis: Palin’s words carry racial tinge” but later edited to “Analysis: Palin’s words may backfire on McCain” – perhaps a tacit admission
that Daniel’s accusations went too far.
AP’s Extraordinary Influence
The Associated Press is one of the
largest and most influential news organizations in the world. It serves thousands of newspapers, radio
stations and TV outlets.
Americans expect the AP to be fair
and unbiased in its reporting. Unfortunately, examples like Daniel’s article
show that the AP has fallen short.
In addition, a comparison of AP
news stories following the announcement of each vice presidential running mate
shows that while dozens of AP stories characterized Gov. Palin as
“conservative,” few described Sen. Biden as “liberal,” even though the National Journal ranked him as the third
most liberal Member of the U.S. Senate.
Given its tremendous influence on
the national media, Americans should encourage the AP to be fair an
Call to Action
I firmly believe that the answer to the problem of media
bias lies with the American people. The media are central to the democratic
process and I want to help the American people become educated consumers of
media and make their voices heard by holding news outlets accountable to the
highest journalistic standards.
By focusing our attention on one media outlet per week, we can have a far
greater impact in effecting significant change. We can make a big
difference if thousands of concerned citizens join together to show they won’t
tolerate media bias.
To that end, if you share my concern about AP’s latest example of bias, please
take a moment out of your day to voice your opinion by contacting Tom Curley,
President and CEO of The Associated Press, using the contact information
450 W. 33rd St.