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Fact Check on the Associated Press

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by Mu of MI3P

I have a bone to pick with the Associated Press.  First, why do so many news agencies quote their stories, word for word, instead of doing research on their own?  I realize that these various news agencies are pressed for time, and the AP reports on most important stories, but please…isn’t the AP’s obvious bias obvious by now?

I’m a fan of Fact Checks.  Really, I think they’re great.  Many politicians and campaigns who state opinions, argue in debates, and air ads on TV stretch the facts or distort them by A LOT.  But, if the AP is going to do a Fact Check, no one should need to do a Fact Check on them.

Last night, after the GOP debate in Iowa, the AP wrote this article:  http://washingtonexaminer.com/news/2011/08/fact-check-republican-debate-strains-some-facts?category=18.  Speaking of Bachmann’s multiple references to “the unconstitutional individual mandate” in the 2010 federal healthcare law, the AP said, “Nothing is unconstituional until courts declare it to be so.”

1)  Not true.  It was not a court who declared slavery to be unconstitutional.  In fact Dred Scott was one of the worst cases ever passed down by the U.S. Supreme Court.  It was the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that made slavery unconstitutional.  Although, you could certainly argue that slavery was really unconstitutional before that since the 9th Amendment guarantees every person the right to liberty.  Pretty sure slaves were persons.  Pretty positive on that one.

2)  Secondly, the AP contradicts themselves by going on to say that some courts have found the individual mandate to be unconstitutional.  Apparently just not the majority or enough yet to justify Bachmann’s statement in the AP’s opinion.  And that’s exactly the problem.  A Fact Check should be called an Opinion Check if it’s going to be based on the reporter’s opinion and not on actual facts.

3)  The AP also implies that the attorneys general who brought the suits against the federal healthcare law are making false statements by claiming that the individual mandate is unconstitutional.  After all, if the courts haven’t declared that the law is unconstitutional, who are these attorneys to be so presumptuous as to assert that it is?  What are they doing??

In the end, I assume that the AP’s point was that Bachmann was acting as if the individual mandate was unconstitutional in absolute fact.  The problem with AP’s assumption is that, currently, if we are going to go by courts’ rulings, there is no fact yet.  And if there is no absolute fact yet, there is certainly no fact to dispute Bachmann’s opinion.  The constitutionality of the individual mandate is currently a matter of opinion.  That’s what Bachmann was stating…her opinion.  She is most certainly free to do that in a debate.

Next time, if the AP wants to diss an opinion on a certain federal law with an opinion of their own, they shouldn’t do it under the guise of a “Fact Check.”

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