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The Associated Press was criticized and forced to issue a correction after a story on the Supreme Court appeared to adopt the same language being used by Democrats.
The news organization was called out when a recent article seemed to tout the Democratic narrative on court-packing as a way to “depoliticize” the high court. The AP ended up correcting the article and issuing an editor’s note to explain the change after it presented the commentary as fact.
The original article published this weekend was focused on the Montana’s U.S. Senate race and the debate that occurred between incumbent GOP U.S. Sen. Steve Daines and Gov. Steve Bullock, his Democratic opponent.
As noted by Real Clear Politics co-founder and president Tom Bevan and others, the original wording in a portion of the report by Iris Samuels quickly raised eyebrows.
With lightning speed, the Associated Press adopts Democrats’ language on SCOTUS: adding members is now “depoliticizing” the court, only “critics” refer to it as “packing.” pic.twitter.com/IBujBwmWE2
— Tom Bevan (@TomBevanRCP) October 11, 2020
“Bullock said that if Coney Barrett was confirmed, he would be open to measures to depoliticize the court, including adding judges to the bench, a practice critics have dubbed packing the courts,” the AP’s original post reportedly read, referring to President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.
But the post was updated to make the change on what was essentially commentary from the Democratic lawmaker on how court-packing served as a way to “depoliticize” the Supreme Court.
“This story has been edited to make clear that it is Bullock’s opinion, rather than a fact, that adding justices to the Supreme Court would depoliticize the court,” an editor’s note was added by the AP.
The updated line in the article was changed to read: “Bullock said that if Coney Barrett was confirmed, he would be open to measures including adding justices to the bench, a practice critics have dubbed packing the courts.”
Bullock, who had indicated his opposition to Coney Barrett’s confirmation process, argued that more justices on the high court would lead to less “politics” in the judiciary.
“We need to figure out the ways to actually get the politics out of the court,” Bullock said. “That’s anything from a judicial standards commission, or we’ll look at any other thing that might be suggested, including adding justices.”
Meanwhile, Daines is in favor of confirming Coney Barrett and argued that adding more justices could pose a threat to the Second Amendment and other Constitutional rights.
The claim, initially presented by the AP as news, that adding Supreme Court justices would “depoliticize” the bench set off a wave of criticism before the article was updated.
“Americans aren’t idiots!” GOP U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York tweeted, saying he had “very bad news for those pushing this new ‘depoliticizing’ spin.
Adding Justices to the US Supreme Court would be the most political, radical, partisan power grab possible for the Judiciary. That move is the polar opposite of “depoliticizing”.
I’ve got very bad news for those pushing this new “depoliticizing” spin => Americans aren’t idiots! https://t.co/B6P1HOkCGd
— Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) October 11, 2020
Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume explained that the “court-packing” term is not even a new term but “is a colloquial expression dating to at least the 1930’s when Franklin Roosevelt proposed adding seats to the court.”
“It backfired and failed and has been referred to as court packing ever since. It’s the kind of succinct, well-known term newspeople normally like,” Hume tweeted.
Others on Twitter added their criticism of the Associated Press.
It’s October of a presidential year. It looks like the AP is in campaign mode. https://t.co/WlMktfZp44
— Tim Carney (@TPCarney) October 11, 2020
The AP should just merge with the DNC. It would streamline operations and the end result would remain the same.
— Arthur Hill (@ArthurHill9) October 11, 2020
AP adopting the preferred and thus wildly deceptive language of their globalist owners is utterly predictable.
— Friendly N. Happy (@HappyToMeatYou) October 11, 2020
— Byron York (@ByronYork) October 11, 2020
AP may as well change it’s name to Associated Democrats.
— ⛤☃️Stone🎃Rhino🏮#NaNo☕ (@Sinjun45) October 11, 2020
It is powerful when you can change the meaning of words at will.
In this case you redefine politicizing as depoliticizing.
— zipjet (@zipjet) October 11, 2020
AP hasn’t been a legitimate news source in years. It’s a pit of left-wing hackery.
— JimBobLAX (@JimBobLAX) October 11, 2020
One week ago, the phrase “packing the Court” had had the same meaning, understood by all since FDR. A few days of the DNC spamming a talking point and the @AP is updating its Newspeak dictionary.
— Dodd (@Amuk3) October 11, 2020
We are now officially in the Orwellian world of Doublespeak, filling existing court vacancies is packing the court, but adding extra justices that will rule the way your political party wants is depoliticizing the court.
— Black Rifles Matter 🇺🇸 (@92helix) October 11, 2020