Only after Fetterman’s campaign manager called the AP out was the story corrected:
Even then, the AP didn’t attach an editor’s note explaining the correction. The text was simply, silently changed, adding the phrase “who has been an employee of Oz’s campaign for Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate seat” before “and said, ‘How do you cope?’”
That’s bad enough. But Parker Molloy notes that, in addition, Marc Levy, one of the authors of the piece, chose to promote it with a tweet quoting a speaker in a Republican Jewish Coalition ad who turns out to be a Republican consultant. The article identifies the quote as coming from an ad but does not provide context for who this Black woman criticizing Fetterman in a Republican Jewish Coalition ad is, professionally speaking. Levy’s tweet doesn’t even do that much (and no, he wasn’t up against the 280 character count, to say nothing of the fact that he could have chosen another quote).
There is room for good reporting here. At least one recent poll showed Oz’s deficit with Black voters shrinking to 34 percentage points, something that, the AP notes without actually referring to the poll, could make a difference in a tight race. But leading with Oz showily empathizing—in the style of the syndicated talk show host he made his name as—with someone who turns out to be his employee without identifying her as his employee is straight-up journalistic malpractice. Then they compounded that with a Republican consultant’s appearance in a Republican group’s ad without identifying her as a partisan operative. Then, when called on the first betrayal of basic reporting practices, the AP failed to do what it really needed to do in the way of a correction.
Combined with the media blitz attempting to undermine public perception of Fetterman’s ability to do the job, it really looks like a concerted effort to make the horserace more fun for reporters to cover, and to prove, by being extra hard on a Democrat while giving a Republican a pass for everything from dodging questions on where he stands on a national abortion ban to promoting fake COVID-19 cures and slaughtering dogs, that there’s no “liberal bias” at play. It’s a very familiar pattern, and it gets more and more toxic with time.
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