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Sunday, October 07, 2007

Burying the Lede after strangling it shooting it and lighting its corpse on fire

This is not the first time that I have expressed concern about Talking Points Memo sullying their outstanding journalistic credentials by publishing stuff from the vastly inferior Associated Press, but this one is really outrageous

The headline

FCC: No suppression of ownership report

FCC Investigation Finds No Suppression of Report on Media Ownership

Oct 05, 2007 16:18 EDT
AP News

the last two paragraphs

The IG office said another report that was never released, on the radio industry in 2003, "presents more troubling aspects." It quoted from an e-mail message from former Media Bureau chief Kenneth Ferree in which he states that he was "not inclined to release this one unless the story can be told in a much more positive way. This is not the time to be stirring the 'radio consolidation' pot."

Boxer spokeswoman Natalie Ravitz said it seemed clear that Ferree, a political appointee, "decided to stuff the draft radio report in a drawer because he didn't like what it said and the timing of it couldn't have been worse for the FCC" in that it illustrated concerns about FCC decisions to relax rules limiting media ownership.

The story proves that the claim in the headline is absolutely totally utterly false. The hint of possible conceivable justification for the false claim in the headline is the extensive discussion of investigation of the alleged suppression of a report on the TV industry. The headline would have been highly misleading but technically true if the word "media" were replaced by "Television." As written it is plainly false and totally unsuited to an organization with the high standards of "Talking Points Memo."

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