Saturday, November 14, 2009

Oh good grief!

It is, of course, good to know that AP employs lots of fact-checkers and produces reports to show up errors. As Mark Steyn tells us the ten journalists worked on the checking and another one wrote a 695-word report. The subject had to be something very serious, indeed. And it was. All these people were working on Sarah Palin's forthcoming book, Going Rogue.
No, the Associated Press assigned 11 writers to "fact-check" Sarah Palin's new book, and in return the 11 fact-checkers triumphantly unearthed six errors. That's 1.8333333 writers for each error. What earth-shattering misstatements did they uncover for this impressive investment? Stand well back:

PALIN: Says she made frugality a point when traveling on state business as Alaska governor, asking "only" for reasonably priced rooms and not "often" going for the "high-end, robe-and-slippers" hotels.

THE FACTS: Although she usually opted for less-pricey hotels while governor, Palin and daughter Bristol stayed five days and four nights at the $707.29-per-night Essex House luxury hotel (robes and slippers come standard)...

That looks like AP paid 1.8333333 fact-checkers to agree with Mrs Palin: She says she didn't "often" go for "high-end" hotels; they say she "usually opted for less-pricey hotels". That's gonna make one must-see edition of "Point/Counterpoint".
Oh my, these people are really scared of La Palin. Here is the list of the six errors those eleven fact-checkers managed to find. Warning: not all of them are earth-shattering and one or two are meaningless.

More on the subject by John Hinderaker at Powerline, who points out that AP does not always quote Palin when attributing views to her.

The only thing AP's and others' of that ilk behaviour is likely to achive will be many more readers of Palin's book. Let us not forget that she is writing about her own experience rather than dreams from her father, mother or third cousing twice removed.

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