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Change in AP story totally uncalled for

Letter to the Editor
2012-11-20T00:00:00Z Change in AP story totally uncalled forBy Tom Laceky Helena Independent Record
November 20, 2012 12:00 am  • 

The Independent Record made a small but damaging alteration to Sunday’s Associated Press story about the president’s trip to Asia, and the change needs to be noted. Otherwise, your readers might make the embarrassing assumption that the AP has joined the birthers. 

As a retired AP staffer of 38 years, the last 28 in the Helena bureau, I regret the unjustified ridicule that your readers may mistakenly aim at the AP.

The violence was done by adding a single word to Jim Kuhnhenn’s article from Washington about the President’s trip to Asia. It appeared in this paragraph: “The Asia trip underscores Obama’s efforts to establish the United states as an Asia-Pacific power, a worldview defined by 21st century geopolitics but also by Obama’s personal identity as America’s first Pacific president. Obama was allegedly born in Hawaii.”

The word “allegedly” was edited into the story by the IR. The AP has assured me it did not appear in the story as written and transmitted.

“Allegedly born in Hawaii?” As if there is any doubt? That right-wing notion has been so thoroughly discredited that only Donald Trump and assorted other loonies still cling to it. Neither the AP nor -I hope - The Independent Record belongs in their company.

No respectable news organization gives any credence to that claim anymore, and certainly does not accord it the respectability of “allegedly.” I hope the IR will find out how this editing gaffe occurred and be sure it doesn’t happen again.

Tom Laceky

Helena

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