Greg Sargent has some follow-up on what he calls the Associated Press's "deeply perverse" decision to reward John Solomon for his flawed and tendentious reporting on Sen. Harry Reid. As Greg notes, the AP apparently saw it as a positive that Solomon's reporting had ignited such a storm in the blogosphere.
The nature of the firestorm apparently didn't matter.
But I would say that it is more than that the reaction was critical. There were actually quite detailed critiques that pointed to numerous errors in Solomon's reporting and repeated instances of tendentious misconstrual or ommission of key facts. In short, it was bad and in several instances mendacious reporting.
The AP ignored most of those criticisms and responded with at least two demonstrably false claims about TPMmuckraker.com's reporting on Solomon's series. Not judgment calls, straight-out false claims, which they've made no effort to retract or clarify. (There was a much lengthier exchange with TPMmuckraker and Media Matters. But I point out these falsehoods as an example of the caliber of the response.)
These criticisms aren't restricted to the blogosphere. They were shared by a number of mainstream media reporters I discussed this with. It was simply that these criticisms only found voice on the blogs because of reporters' deep reluctance to criticize colleagues.
There was nothing about this sorry episode that deserved praise or reward, even in an informal newsroom way. It's hard to see the AP in the same light again. But it does renew my sense of why we do what we do and reminds me of the essential corruption of much of the national political press. Washington's a funny place.