Imagine the excitement earlier this week when Associated Press staffers learned that Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) had talked (or so they thought) about Republicans favoring a 2016 presidential candidate with an immigration policy that would “round up people … and send them back to Mexico.” Finally they’re getting honest about their real intentions, right?
Wrong. From east (Philly.com) to west (The Sacramento Bee) the salivating headline—“Sen. Paul: Voters want to round up immigrants”—attracted attention, but Paul actually said the opposite. I suspect his staff vociferously asked AP editors to listen to the tape: They did, and sent out a notice that “the transcript had dropped the word ‘don’t’ from that quote.”
Yes, the actual quotation was, “They don’t want somebody who wants to round people up, put them in camps and send them back to Mexico.” Thankfully, a tape provided irrefutable evidence of the misquotation, and AP retracted the story: Yesterday it also sent out an acknowledgment that “some versions of the original story continue to display online.” (Others will continue to play in the minds of readers.)
AP made an error and, thankfully, admitted it. No big deal—everyone makes mistakes—but the distribution of a quote that didn’t have the ring of truth to it once again showed liberal presuppositions at work. How many biased stories go out and never receive correction? The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind—and that tendency leaves mainstream media twisting slowly in the wind.