Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Mr. Completely: Barrett-Firearms -- AP Corrects their story

Mr. Completely: Barrett-Firearms -- AP Corrects their story

Thanx to Mr. Completely for the summary and the link. Now we all know that AP is a bunch of lying dogs, but at least when they get caught at it they CAN be forced to 'fess up.

I quibble with the references to a VPC spokesman (Tom Diaz) as a "criminal justice scholar", and I'm not sure about the vermont gun writer who "...said that when the .50-caliber rifle is used with the proper bullet, it would not destroy the meat."

But that's just me.

The main point, that a .50 Barrett would effectively defeat tank armor from a mile away, is now admittedly 'inadequately verifiable' as they say in Liberal Think Tanks. (Pun intended.)

As we here in Geekistans say, "it's all lies, damned lies, and Liberal Propaganda!"

You can see my original objection to the AP article at "Dastards at AP".

(And you can see the original article, as long as it remains available on the website of the egrigious SFgate website . . . here . . . thanks to Mr. Completely. Because I don't trust the Dastards, I've save the page to my personal archives under MYBLOG/BARRETT.)


SayUncle has more information about the author of the original article, Rose French.

The article was originally suppose to be a purely "business article", which doesn't explain how it turned into a front-page story in many newspapers or why it turned out to be an excellent example of "Ambush Jounalism".

Michael Moore would be proud.

Here are some of the more cogent comments from Dan Goodwin, Media Relations Manager for Barrett Rifles which is Mr. Goodwin’s inquiry to the AP’s Nashville bureau:

First, based on what was published, I believe Ms. French misrepresented her purpose in coming to our plant for a tour and interview.

I asked her what the story was about beforehand and she said “a business feature about your company.”

I relayed her request to my boss and Ronnie Barrett and they were concerned about it being a political story. Ms. French reassured me mention of legislative issues would be brief and “it’s mostly going to be a business feature.”

Please note Ms. French and her photographer were here well over two hours and half that time was a taped interview with Barrett.

The byline and copy ran 975 words, according to the word count tool on my computer. The portion dedicated to political opponents and experts was 407 words.

Now, I’m a J-school graduate like you fellows and somewhat math impaired. But my computer says that is right at 42 percent of the story.

Ms. French’s story had direct quotes from Tom Diaz of the Violence Policy Center before it had direct quotes from Ronnie Barrett. I also noted Mr. Barrett was only quoted once directly.

It was clear during her visit that Ms. French knew little or nothing about firearms in general and our products in particular.

(Emphasis added)

This doesn't explain why the inaccuracies were entered into the story, but it casts doubt on the professional ethics practiced by AP reporters and editors.

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