Friday, April 22, 2011

Associated Partisanship

The AP’s Memory Hole

In our age of the Internet, cheap digital video recorders, etc., it’s harder than it once was to enforce an “official” version of an event . . . . the un-airbrushed knowledge of which might embarrass some potentate.
Memory-tweakers keep trying, though. Including Winston-Smith wannabes at the Associated Press.
An example is President Obama’s appearance at a wind turbine plant, where he made a pitch for “energy independence,” a concept presidents have been pitching at us at least since the long gas lines of the 1970s. One concern of attendees was the latest bout of high gas prices, caused by inflationary pressures and uncertainty about the Middle East.
According to an early version of the AP’s report, “Obama needled one questioner who asked about gas prices, now averaging close to $3.70 a gallon nationwide, and suggested that the gentleman consider getting rid of his gas-guzzling vehicle. ‘If you’re complaining about the price of gas and you’re only getting 8 miles a gallon, you know,’ Obama said laughingly, ‘you might want to think about a trade-in.’” The passage downplays how jovially patronizing the president was even after it became clear that the questioner had ten kids to support.
Obama’s unscripted condescension toward a struggling plant worker is not so outrageous as the AP’s strange memory-hole behavior. The incident was later scrubbed from their report. But InstaPundit’s Glenn Reynolds saved a screenshot of the original passage. And there’s video.

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