Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What's the deal with the AP?

Instead of a story, we got a joke about a wedding gone wrong
Why run a 50-word news brief on the Brooklyn carriage accident? To make light of it, of course, as The Associated Press did in its pickup of the accident. We now know, thanks to other news outlets, that the horses involved were 2,000-pound Percherons, which is good news and bad. Their sheer size may be one reason that they survived the crash into the livery cab with only cuts to the legs. A 2,000-pound spooked horse, however, poses real danger to people who may be in his path. The carriage driver, who helped "steer" the out-of-control horses to a crash landing, suffered multiple broken ribs.

As Dave Barry pointed out years ago, AP staffers mostly sit at the desk and read newspapers. Too bad, because there's a story and a half here, and it remains to be told. The blistering but largely ignored 2007 audit of the carriage horse industry; the conflict of interest with Linda Gibbs (DOH) and her carriage industry lobbyist husband Thomas McMahon; the dirty dealings of Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who blocks the legislation that would ban horse-drawn carriages in NYC (a measure that is supported by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Humane Society of the United States); the national tragedy of horse slaughter, and on and on.

The silliness that is the AP. Did you hear the one the Jonas Salk obituary, which had a GenDesk editor ranting and raving about receiving "an 800-word obituary on some dead guy that no one's ever heard of!" Or the editor who bellowed, "Does anyone speak Spanish?" upon receiving a story that referred to the legal term "nolo contendre." No surprise that news gets by these guys. And now the AP is terrrorizing bloggers! Please!

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