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AP’s Palin Bashing Story Disappears then Reappears

John on September 11, 2008 at 4:40 pm

So the rap on Palin this week has been that she’s shrouded in a campaign bubble. Actually she’s already given her first big interview which will air tonight. Still, the bubble/cone of silence has been a big hit with liberal bloggers. So this headline (3rd down) from the AP is a bit slanted, via Yahoo News.

There are no quotes around “campaign bubble” the way there are around “handily” just one headline above. In other words, the AP isn’t using someone from team Obama’s description of the situation, they’ve simply adopted it. Here’s the start of the story itself:

FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska (AP) — Sarah Palin is taking cautious steps out of the bubble she’s been in since becoming John McCain’s running mate. But not many steps yet.

The Alaska governor was sitting down Thursday for her first extended interview after days of preparation by the McCain campaign, before attending the deployment ceremony for an Army brigade being sent to Iraq later this month with her son Track among the soldiers off to the war.

A figure of intense national interest, the 44-year-old Palin has been limited to stages and stump speeches, with little spontaneous interaction with voters — a star on camera who has been sheltered from questioning to the point of appearing cosseted. Her interview with ABC’s Charlie Gibson is the only one scheduled for her to date.

It’s not exactly a down-the-middle piece. A little later we read:

Palin talks often in her speeches about her son’s deployment, using it as an opportunity to promote McCain as a strong commander in chief. Joe Biden, Democrat Barack Obama’s running mate, also has a son going to Iraq but rarely brings that up.

Really, because he mentioned it today in this interview as something he and Palin had in common. Biden’s son is in the reserves and will be heading to Iraq sometime after the election to work as a lawyer. Palin’s son leaves today as part of a Stryker brigade.

What’s most curious about the story is that it appears to be in the process of disappearing. It has already been replaced by a completely different story on Palin’s interview on several sites. Here’s a page of google links to the story. At least three of the links (as of 3:30 Pacific time) lead to a new story titled “Palin says she’s ready to step in as President.” Quite a different headline that is. You can see the new story here on the International Herald Tribune site. A search of the IHT turns up no results matching the previous story. It’s just gone. It’s also vanished from FoxNews, the Sacramento Bee and others.

The same is true of the Yahoo News page. The previous story is no longer among the most viewed (not anywhere in the top 10). It has been replaced by the new story under the new headline.

But it gets weirder…

Since I started writing this post, they’ve switched it again! Now there’s a new version of the old story up on Yahoo News with some elements from the replacement story as well. They’ve been merged under the new headline. The new version uses many of the same lines as the original, including the one about Palin being “cosseted” but the paragraph about Biden not mentioning his son is gone.

There’s no mention that any of these changes took place. If a blogger did this, I’d call it sloppy.

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Category: MSM & Bias |

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