Let me say up front that I want to give The Associated Press and their reporters the benefit of the doubt.
It’s not an easy job being a journalist.
However, the answer to why the public doesn’t trust the mainstream media is occasionally painfully obvious– especially in light of a story The Associated Press (AP) published Friday night about the Donald Trump rally in Chicago.
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In that story, the reporter cited two rally attendees toward the end of the article whose names should have sent up red flags. The way the AP operates, breaking news stories are often updated throughout the news cycle, paragraphs are added and others removed. So here are the paragraphs as they originally appeared:
“However, 19-year-old Rusty Shackleford of Lombard, in line to attend the Trump rally, said he was there to ‘support the man who wants to make America great again.’
“Chicago community activist Quo Vadis said hundreds of protesters had positioned themselves in groups around the arena, and that they intend to demonstrate right after Trump takes the stage. Their goal, he said, is ‘for Donald to take the stage and to completely interrupt him. The plan is to shut Donald Trump all the way down.'”
There very well may be people by those names out there, but Rusty Shackleford was an alias used by the paranoid anti-government character Dale Gribble in the animated TV series “King of the Hill.”
And Quo Vadis is a Latin phrase that means “Where are you going?” and refers to a legend about St. Peter. It’s also a 1951 epic MGM film.
Maybe the reporter was taken in by some smart-aleck rally attendees, or maybe the pressure of filing a deadline story was too much and the quotes were made up.
Neither scenario would be a first. And neither instills confidence in the media’s integrity or intelligence.
A message on Twitter was sent to the reporter that seemed to be involved, but at the time of this writing no reply was received.