Friday, April 02, 2010

Extremists at the ACLU?

I read an AP story on line in mid-afternoon Friday that had such an egregious error I actually took a few moments from work to call the desk.

It was in the breaking story about threatening letters sent to 30 governors.

The last graf read:

"Last weekend, the FBI conducted raids on suspected members of a Christian militia in the Midwest that was allegedly planning to kill police officers. In the past year, federal agents have seen an increase in "chatter" from an array of domestic extremist groups, which can include radical self-styled militias, white separatists or extreme civil libertarians and sovereign citizens."

Take a moment to re-read carefully to see what has me seething.

I mentioned to a young person on the desk that there is no such thing as "extreme civil libertarians," that even if there were they could not possibly be construed as part of "an array of domestic extremist groups," that "extreme" and "civil" is an oxymoron, that civil means civil, that extreme civil libertarians if they exist are usually lawyers, judges, cheese eaters, members of the ACLU and residents of Chevy Chase. I suggested that what the authors may have meant was "extreme libertarians," of whom I have met a number.

OK, mistakes happen on a breaking story.

Six hours later, the story was unchanged.

What a disgusting piece of journalism by people who have no clue as to what a civil libertarian is.

Once the very name of dispassionate journalism, the Associated Press in recent years has become a conservative opinion center and a repository of shoddy fact-gathering.

1 comment:

  1. I am glad to know that the editor who made me understand the difference between "over" and "more than" is still reading with his grimly critical eye. Thank you.