Correction: the Associated Press Knows What the "Birther Bill" is

The Associated Press wants to assure readers that it knows what "the Birther Bill" is -- despite the way TV news websites destroy stories it puts over the wire.

Earlier this week, we posted a story explaining to the AP and CBS affiliate KPHO the difference between the "Birther Bill" and the Birth Right Bill." We did so because an AP story that ran on the KPHO website seemed to have the two confused.

See our story here. We were honestly just trying to thumb our noses at other local media outlets help.

This morning, we spoke to Linda Ashton, the news editor for the AP in Arizona, and she assures us that staffers at the news wire service know the difference between the two bills.

The problem with the story as it appeared on the KPHO website is that the headline reads "Birther Bill in Limbo, Voting Postponed."

The "Birther Bill," as you may know, would require anyone who wants to run for president or vice-president to prove their U.S. citizenship before their name's allowed on the ballot in Arizona -- even though it happens to already be a federal requirement to land either job.

We've been following the bogus bill pretty closely, so we were a little confused when the story under the aforementioned headline was about the "Birth Right Bill," which challenges the automatic U.S. citizenship for children of illegal immigrants born in the U.S. 

As we mentioned in our first post, we initially thought "hey, maybe KPHO just blew it on the headline," which, as most journalists know, can happen from time to time. But the story attached to the headline, credited to the AP, blew it, too.

The lede of their piece is as follows:

"The so-called birther bill making its way through the state Senate is in limbo after a day of debating on Monday."

But Ashton says the AP is not responsible for that lede. In fact, she sent us a copy of the story the AP put out over the wire -- KPHO butchered it. Nowhere in the AP's version of the story does it say anything about a "Birther Bill." It seems KPHO producers just saw "Birth" in the story, decided it was about the "Birther Bill," and wrote their lede accordingly.

KPHO might consider changing its catchy TV phrase from "Telling it like it is" to Telling it the way we think the AP says it is -- which we might fuck up anyway.

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James King
Contact: James King