Jun 17 2008

Teaching A Lesson To The News Media – AP As The Sacrificial Lamb

Published by at 10:57 am under All General Discussions

Bloggers, like me, are voicing their views and commentary on the news (and falsehoods, etc) of the day as is our right under the constitution.  When a corporation tries to tell me I cannot comment, criticize (and more often correct) their lousy product I lose all interest in being reasonable.  There are lines you do not cross because they cannot be uncrossed.

The-news-source-that-shall-not-be-named, which went after bloggers for excerpting and linking their biased and error prone ‘news’ articles, crossed that line – in full hypocrisy it seems:

1. The AP is essentially arguing that anyone who excerpts 33 to 79 words from its articles are breaking copyright law — even if they link to the article and rewrite the headlines. Cadenhead noted that out of six of the blog posts he had to take down, five of them had their own headlines written by users.

2. One news organization (even a cooperative of other news organizations) is not going to set the policy on “Fair Use” of content online. Blogs, aggregators and user-generated news sites such as Digg have been using links and excerpts since the beginning of (Internet) time, and no legal challenge has stopped them from doing that.

3. While the AP eventually said it was reconsidering its stance on Drudge Retort and wants to set guidelines on what it thinks bloggers should be allowed to use, it did not retract its takedown notice on Drudge Retort.

4. The AP is hurting itself by making bloggers think twice about linking to their stories — and by extension, the stories of its member news outlets. No links means no traffic. No traffic means no readership. You can see where that leads.

5. As Jarvis rightly points out, the AP is looking mighty hypocritical in asking people to credit its stories correctly when the AP itself runs other news organizations’ material in its feed without crediting them. This is obviously a very different issue, but this is the kind of thing that comes out in the open when you start a very public tiff.

It is time these corporate giants trying to snuff out our Constitutional Right to Freedom of Speech learn a lesson.  It is the lesson of the market place – which is also a free market without any requirements to purchase products from any one source.  

The referenced post thinks boycotting The-news-source-that-shall-not-be-named is over the top? Well I disagree.  When any organization, but especially a corporation that is simply trying to maximize profits, tries to destroy our Constitutional Rights through the tyranny of an army of trial lawyers ready to suck our life savings dry then I think we have crossed a line that cannot be uncrossed. Even if AP were to take the unusual step and back all the way off (which they have not done), I would suggest a signal must be sent to any industry operating in this country that tries to intimidate us out of our rights.  I believe they deserve a very harsh and unforgettable lesson for this abhorrent transgression.

The News-source-that-shall-not-be-named (or linked, or read or referenced) will be America’s example to a greedy and abusive industry.  And let’s be honest here – it is not a terrible loss when all is said and done. Too many news organizations have refused to reflect the diversity of America in their hiring (they remain 90+% far left liberal), they produced biased and flawed products, they spend more time representing our enemies’ views and propaganda than telling the full story of the American position.  This company is one of the worst of the lot.

In the end all that will be lost is an overbearing, greedy corporation which produces a lousy product. Besides, there are lots of better news sources than The-news-source-that-shall-not-be-named out there, let their competition gain from their attempt to curb our freedom of speech.

I propose AP be the sacrificial lamb to send the news media a clear and powerful heads up about where their boundaries lie.  America is for Americans – not corporations and journalists.  Your welcome to make a living here and build a business, but we will not trade our Constitutional rights away in the bargain.   There is no need to ever reference or link or read another story from this greedy corporation – let it pay the price for trying to abuse the honor of being part of the American culture, which is by the people and for the people (and not the press). AP will never be punished in court for this egregious act, so let their punishment be in the free market and let it be an example to all.



8 responses so far

8 Responses to “Teaching A Lesson To The News Media – AP As The Sacrificial Lamb”

  1. MerlinOS2 says:

    A related issue for me is when news portals carry hundreds of links to the same news wire story and the only difference is the mast head on the newspaper carrying it. Otherwise it is the exact same feed story word for word.

    I can’t believe places like google news don’t pay the fee for a full feed and then link that directly and forget about the thousands of dupe links, except for the fact that they probably sell ads at all those alternate destinations.

  2. garrettc says:

    Unfortunately, the main service of AP is supplying content to a huge number of papers for reprinting. It absolves the newspapers of having to hunt up enough reporting to fill their silly rags. Until you make a dent in that, AP lives on.

  3. AJStrata says:


    No matter which ‘newspaper’ posts the AP story it shows an AP by-line. So it is actually easy to boycott the whole endeavor. It doesn’t matter what internet site hosts the AP story, it will not show up here.


  4. crosspatch says:

    Buried deep in this post at Gateway Pundit is the interesting comment where AP says coverage of Iraq has declined by 92% since the news turned good. I can only interpret that to mean that bad news has declined by 92% and most of what news remains doesn’t meet their propaganda agenda.

    But most importantly the AP blames THE PUBLIC for it! WHAT???? Since when did I have an opportunity to lobby AP and tell them what I find interesting? AP says the public isn’t interested in good news from Iraq. How in the world would they know that? They don’t take comments.

    Oh, and also in the same posting at GP is the word that 30,000 US troops will be coming home from Iraq in July. I don’t see it on any major news headline today. Sad.

    Our news media are a sham.

  5. VA Voter says:

    If the AP attempts to limit their ‘Fair Use’ and linking definition on Bloggers only they leave themselfs open to the ‘selective enforcement’ defense. They cannot limit boggers without limiting any and all online sites.

  6. ivehadit says:

    Here, here, AJ! I am sick of the corrupt press.

    And I tell you this, this is just one more thing in a long line of liberal actions this week/month that have me so ticked off I could spit….and everyone I know is feeling the same way…

    So, I will tell the Bob Beckell’s of the world this: WE ARE MAD AS HELL AND WE AREN’T GONNA TAKE IT ANYMORE…we just won’t tell your pollsters this when they call now. They will find out at the ballot box in November.


  7. crosspatch says:

    Ace is saying that their “fair use” clause also says they reserve the right to have you remove any reference to their stuff if you are going to criticize it.

    Now stuff on the wire that comes from other papers is one thing, those papers can be criticized directly, but content that comes from APs own people not affiliated with any of their member papers MUST be held up to scrutiny. The AP bureau and their stringers in Baghdad has pretty much been a propaganda operation for the enemy.

  8. Frogg says:

    Mac Ranger, Macsmind Blog, had some thoughts (too, too funny):

    Fine, I’m no longer using AP cited stories any way. But I have found ten instances in the past where they excerpted my blog posts for one of their news stories. I have therefore prepared an invoice based on my scale of $100 per word which multiplied by the total words that were excerpted 63, which comes to $6,300.00.

    I sent the invoice them today.

    If payment is not received within 30 days according to my invoicing terms I will turn it over to a collection agency.