If you wonder why American newspapering is dying, consider this sign-off:
AP writers Matt Apuzzo, Sharon Theimer, Tom Raum, Rita Beamish, Beth Fouhy, H. Josef Hebert, Justin D. Pritchard, Garance Burke, Dan Joling and Lewis Shaine contributed to this report.
Wow. That’s ten “AP writers” plus Calvin Woodward, the AP writer whose twinkling pen honed the above contributions into the turgid sludge of the actual report. That’s eleven writers for a 695-word report. What on? Obamacare? The Iranian nuke program? The upcoming trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed?
No, the Associated Press assigned eleven writers to “fact-check” Sarah Palin’s new book, and in return the eleven 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.
Or is AP arguing “four nights” counts as “often”? Is that the point? AP assigned eleven reporters to demonstrate that four is a large number?
Over at Powerline, John Hinderaker and his vast team of researchers (17 Minneapolis-area Somali jihadists, 29 ACORN-accredited child-sex slaves, and 43 unemployed Columbia School of Journalism graduates) fact-check AP’s fact-checkers.
PALIN: How many AP fact-checkers does it take to change a lightbulb?
FACT: Palin has gone seriously “rogue” in her facts here. AP fact-checkers are prevented per union regulations from changing lightbulbs.
AP writers Matt Apuzzo, Sharon Theimer, Tom Raum, Rita Beamish, Beth Fouhy, H. Josef Hebert, Justin D. Pritchard, Garance Burke, Dan Joling and Lewis Shaine contributed to this joke. We’ll be here all week.