The Associated Press is an American independent news organization based in New York City. Established in 18 46, it is a cooperative, non-exclusive agency managed by members. Its members are U.S. media and publications.
AP News currently covers the New York State elections. It also covers the European Union, world sports events and the United Kingdom general elections. It specifically covers the presidential race in the United States. Many prominent U.S. media and publications have declined to cover the AP’s politics of division due to fears that it would try to sway the U.S. election for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump.
While serving as an objective third party, AP News has published several investigations that have shown possible coordination between the Clinton campaign and Russia. Additionally, AP has published stories that have indicated possible ties between the Trump campaign and various right wing groups in the United States. Many newspapers, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today have criticized AP’s investigation. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, editorial board member Elizabeth Spencer accused AP of “gathering what could be a lot of false and frivolous information”. In a July article for USA Today, Bennington resident Richard Cohen likened the AP’s coverage of the presidential election to that of the “Vanity Fair” in terms of its lack of objectivity.
AP has faced some harsh criticism from members of both the Republican National Committee and the Democratic National Committee. During a July 18th hearing by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Chairman Nunes blasted AP News as “a pack of left-wing, anti-American news sources”. Calling the AP’s Russia reporting “a witch hunt of the highest order”, Rep. Nunes said he believes Russia was behind the leaks of emails from the Gmail account of former Secretary of State Colin Powell. As evidence, he cited emails found on a laptop belonging to an AP reporter. Other outlets quickly picked up the story, and the AP released a second piece confirming the accuracy of the committee’s findings. Both pieces also mentioned previous efforts by AP News to get damaging information on both President Bush and then-candidate Obama.
While both pieces reiterate that the sourcing for the AP’s first piece was anonymous, neither says whether the source actually was employed by the U.S. government or not. The second article, written by freelance journalist Marina McEwan, also cites several unnamed sources saying that the FBI was looking into the emails at the time that AP was working on this story. Further complicating matters is that AP News is not just any regular news service. AP is one of the main outlets that operates independently of the U.S Department of State.
In light of all of this, it should be noted that the mainstream media has been criticizing AP News for what they see as blatantly political action. It is not uncommon for the AP to conduct investigations that are less than apolitical in nature, such as one in which they sought to obtain information on President Bush’s ties to a company involved in oilfield ventures in Iraq. As noted above, the original AP piece said that the committee looking into the emails had no clear evidence linking the emails to anything illegal or inappropriate. Additionally, many of the emails that were obtained were later made available to Congress. For these reasons, many people see AP News as little more than a purveyor of political propaganda. If true, that would explain why the U.S Justice Department, which brought charges against two AP reporters for the AP’s reporting, is now pursuing the case against Fox News for publishing the same information about Iraq’s alleged ties to aluminum tubes.