September 28, 2006, - 9:13 am
By Debbie Schlussel
Michelle Malkin has been hot on the trail of Bilal Hussein, the AP photographer who has ties to Al-Qaeda, and who–as Michelle reported–takes photos from Al-Qaeda terrorists’ perspective.
Now, there is yet another reason not to believe what you see–and read–from AP.
Tuesday, AP reported that Paul Vance–the man who co-wrote the famous song, “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini“–was dead. But, to paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of his demise were highly exaggerated. And, in fact, not true at all.
Paul Vance is alive and well. The man who actually died, Paul Van Valkenburgh, was a phony who claimed to have written the song under the name, Paul Vance–a complete lie. Had the AP obituary writer done even the slightest of reporting–ie., investigating–the phony news would not have been reported all over the world.
When Paul Vance surfaced–after reading his obit–AP started the real investigating. The “news”wire made him provide royalty statements to show he’s the real deal–and not dead.
AP’s phony report also cost the real Vance. Two of the horses he owns were scratched from horse races because of his alleged death. And he had to field condolence phone calls from those who thought he died. Vance told the New York Times he was considering suing AP because its false report could stop his “Bikini” song royalties from being paid:
Believe me, if they think you’re dead, they ain’t going to send the money.
He was “kind of shook up” over reports of his demise. “What is happening is unreal,” he said. “My kids went nuts. My closest friends are still calling.”
Phony news about a guy who wrote a popular bikini song from 46 years ago may seem minor, but it begs these questions about the capabilities of AP to accurately report important, major news stories:
* If AP can’t even get right an obituary about a Z-list celeb who wrote a bikini song, what news can the news organization get right?
* How much other “news” reported by AP is similarly phony–and which alleged “news” reported by it can we, indeed, believe (if any)?
* Just how lazy are AP reporters, and how widespread is the affliction?
* How easily fooled is AP?
AP blames the false story on an obituary that ran in The News-Times of Danbury, Connecticut. But so what? Way to do your own “original” reporting and investigating, AP. Shows AP will just reprint anything in any newspaper, taking it as “the Gospel.”
We like Michelle’s new moniker for AP: “Associated–With Terrorists–Press.” But we have another, equally appropriate suggestion: “Associated Press–Report Now, Investigate Later.”
Tags: al-Qaeda, AP obituary writer, AP photographer, Associated Press, Bilal Hussein, Connecticut, Danbury, Debbie Schlussel Michelle Malkin, Mark Twain, Paul Van Valkenburgh, Paul Vance, The New York Times, The News-Times