Patterico's Pontifications


Associated Press Misstates Polanski Plea Bargain — Again

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:16 am

If they say the lie enough, they figure it will become the truth:

Polanski pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of unlawful sexual intercourse. In exchange, the judge agreed to drop the remaining charges and sentence him to prison for a 90-day psychiatric evaluation.

Wrong. And as the link shows, this is not the first time the AP has done this.

How do you go about getting a correction from the AP? Can some energetic person carry the torch on this? If you find the person to contact and write them seeking a correction, I will publish your letter.


21 Responses to “Associated Press Misstates Polanski Plea Bargain — Again”

  1. I’ll tell my editors about this. Since we’re paying good money for (supposedly) accurate stories from AP, they are not happy when AP botches facts.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  2. AP Board of Directors

    William Dean Singleton – Chairman
    Vice Chairman and CEO
    MediaNews Group Inc.
    Denver, Colorado

    Mary Junck– Vice Chairman
    President and CEO
    Lee Enterprises, Inc.
    Davenport, Iowa

    Donna J. Barrett
    President and CEO
    Community Newspaper Holdings
    Birmingham, AL

    Elizabeth Brenner
    Publisher and President
    The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
    Executive Vice President
    Journal Communications Inc.
    Milwaukee, WI

    Craig A. Dubow
    President and CEO
    Gannett Co., Inc.
    McLean, VA

    R. Jack Fishman
    Publisher and Editor
    Citizen Tribune
    Morristown, Tennessee

    Boisfeuillet (Bo) Jones
    Vice Chairman
    The Washington Post Company
    Washington, D.C.

    David Lord
    Vice Chairman
    Pioneer Newspapers, Inc.
    Seattle, Washington

    R. John Mitchell
    Rutland Herald
    Rutland, Vermont

    Steven O. Newhouse
    New York, New York

    David M. Paxton
    President and CEO
    Paxton Media
    Paducah, KY

    Charles V. Pittman
    Senior Vice President-Publishing
    Schurz Communications Inc.
    South Bend, Indiana

    Gary Pruitt
    Chairman, President and CEO
    The McClatchy Company
    Sacramento, California

    Michael E. Reed
    GateHouse Media, Inc.
    Fairport, New York

    Jon Rust
    Southeast Missourian
    Co-president, Rust Communications
    Cape Girardeau, Missouri

    Steven R. Swartz
    Hearst Newspapers
    Senior Vice President
    Hearst Corporation
    New York, NY

    Dunia Shive
    Belo Corporation
    Dallas, TX

    Paul C. Tash
    Chairman and CEO
    Times Publishing Company
    St. Petersburg Times
    St. Petersburg, FL

    David Westin
    ABC News
    New York, New York

    H. Graham Woodlief
    President, Publishing Division
    Vice President,
    Media General Inc.
    Richmond, Virginia

    Sam Zell
    Chairman and CEO
    Tribune Company
    Chicago, IL

    [note: fished from spam filter. –Stashiu]

    Fred Z (bc2518)

  3. Isn’t there some charge the LA DA’s office can bring against the AP? Could judges hold the AP and their employees in contempt for willfully repeating these lies?

    PCD (1d8b6d)

  4. I’d like to see a class action suit brought against the AP and newspapers who conspire to maliciously deceive clients who pay for accurate information. Why not? It’s a clear breech of contract.

    ropelight (6e0c3c)

  5. Fred Z.
    Thank you for that list. But even more importantly, let the editors of the newspapers you read know. AP is owned by its members, and largely sustained by its fees. So if you can convince an editor to complain to AP, it carries more weight.

    Tips from a journo on the art of editor management: Be polite, as editors often get yelled at by the public. Make it clear you are protesting AP’s errors, but that the editors have responsibility for ensuring that everything in their paper is accurate. After you’ve made your point, thank them for their time in reading your message.

    Cite specifics. And keep copies of each letter or email you write, to add to the record. If the AP stories are bylined, include the names of the reporters. Complete documentation will help get action more quickly, if the editor feels so inclined.

    If you call, try to do so before or after deadline. Ask the newspaper when that is. Also, when you get the editor, ask first thing if this is a good time to talk, or if you should call back later. That shows you are respectful of their time, and believe me, they’ll appreciate it.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (33c7e0)

  6. Why would AP care? They’re too busy re-writing Obama press releases!

    Alta Bob (a95d04)

  7. I think you should call it to the attention of the fact checkers on the Palin book. Tell them it’s mentioned in it.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  8. Palin’s description of the media in her book, which is by no means all negative, is spot-on. She understands the dynamics of local vs. national press.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (33c7e0)

  9. Their is also this on AP FAQ at the APs website (

    1. How do I send a correction or letter to the editor?
    Send an e-mail to and it will be forwarded to the reporter or editor.

    Their is also this address for their headquarters:
    The Associated Press

    450 W. 33rd St.
    New York, NY 10001

    [note: fished from spam filter. –Stashiu]

    William Dix (18f57c)

  10. Comment by Alta Bob — 11/20/2009 @ 8:54 am

    AP is not allowed to re-write my press releases!!!

    David Axelrod (83330d)

  11. Anyone picking up on the unfolding story concerning the Walpin firing earlier this year?

    Dagwood (9a09b9)

  12. It certainly doesn’t look good for the Mayor of Sacramento, nor his squeeze leading the DC schools.
    When Walpin gets his job back, and probably a large cash award too, he will be a crusader on a mission, and there will be Hell to pay.

    AD - RtR/OS! (83330d)

  13. A consumation devoutly to be wished.

    And yet, I’m disappointed in Rhee – she seemed to be doing a more than decent job in trying to turn the D.C. schools into something other than a cess pit.

    If one is known by their enemies she certainly enraged enough of the entrenched liberals and teacher’s unions to give one hope.

    Robert N. (54210b)

  14. AP writers are often lazy and use wikipedia as a primary reference source. It’s easy to tell when what they relied on turns out to be a hacked piece.

    NickM (9d1bb3)

  15. From the transcript of the plea: “The District Attorney will make a motion to dismiss the remaining pending charges after sentencing.”

    Since Polanski didn’t appear for sentencing, I’m guessing the other remaining charges never got dismissed and are therefore still pending.

    Anyone have a definitive answer on this?

    FirstTimeReader (b17e7b)

  16. All you folks who think AP really cares about facts raise your hand. They are sticking to the narrative no matter what.

    glenn (757adc)

  17. “The judge received a probation report and psychiatric evaluation, both indicating that Polanski should not serve jail time, and in response the film maker was ordered to ninety days in prison in order to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. He was released after forty-two days. Despite expectations and recommendations that he would receive only probation at sentencing, the judge “suggested to Polanski’s attorneys” that more jail time and possible deportation were in order. Upon learning of the judge’s plans Polanski fled to France in February 1978 hours before he was to be formally sentenced…”–wiki

    In this case, wiki pretty much got it right, which puts them one up on AP.

    I think wikipedia is a fantastic resource and a great idea…they just need to tighten up on their editing proceedures a tad.

    Dave Surls (f3ff35)

  18. Dave, perhaps they can borrow an editor or two from the LAT, who don’t seem to be utilizing theirs very well lately, if at all.

    AD - RtR/OS! (e373b4)

  19. The Associated Press is essentially a collective agency providing news content to papers who cannot afford to send their own reporters to cover national and international stories.

    It is funded by those newspapers. There are many fine people who work for AP. They do a thankless job.

    And they do not, sincerely, give a good crap about what readers think. That’s not their job. Their job is to provide copy.

    That works well for AP reporters and editors who indeed have an agenda. It also works well for local editors who share that agenda.

    But, they have no incentive to provide fair and accurate coverage. Their only incentive is to provide copy as they see fit.

    I would say that capitalism is indeed a wonderful thing, except, with the AP, you’re not actually dealing with capitalism. You’re dealing with collectivism, and, it shows.

    Ag80 (3d1543)

  20. Our esteemed host asked:

    Can some energetic person carry the torch on this?

    I’ll do it!

    Don Quixote (474dfc)

  21. Polanski prattles on about previous prison experiences in his 1984 autobiography, “Roman” by Polanski, William Morrow, Inc. It is most amusing stuff given current events.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

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