Blogs » Your Advocate: an editor's blog » How will AP answer question of bias?


When I saw a letter writer's criticism Tuesday of an Associated Press article, I thought it warranted an answer.

The letter questioned a line in the AP story about President Obama's speech Saturday to West Point graduates. The sentenced in question read: Bush's "my way or the highway" approach alienated some allies and damaged U.S. standing around the world.

Advocate letter writer Michael C. Notzon called this "one more example of a reporter injecting her bias into a supposedly objective story."

I sent the letter to Texas AP bureau chief Dale Leach, who said he'd consult with his colleagues in New York. A day later, he sent this response:

Mr. Notzon:

Chris Cobler of The Advocate passed along your observations about our report of President Obama's recent appearance at West Point.

You are correct that our characterization of former President Bush's leadership style in that story was off the mark.

While some critics and even his former pollster used that shorthand to describe his governing style, it's not a characterization the AP should have used without some attribution.

Thanks for bringing this to our attention and to the attention of The Advocate.

Dale Leach

Chief of Bureau