The Associated Press, a standard-bearer for the news industry, published at least three press releases on its APNews.com website and AP News app that contained misinformation and partisan propaganda from conservative political groups, Right Wing Watch has learned. One press release advocated for prosecuting doctors who perform abortions, another claimed that measles vaccines cause autism, and one was used to advertise a shady right-wing fundraising campaign. All appeared on the AP’s site, surrounded by the company’s branding. On January 25, a press release from WeBuildTheWall Inc., circulated by Business Wire, was published to APNews.com in its entirety. It advertised a questionable GoFundMe campaign seeking to privately fund President Trump’s promised U.S.-Mexico border wall by advancing Kris Kobach’s claim to The New York Times that the president had given the project his blessing during a phone call. “President Trump ‘Blesses’ Private Solution to Build the Wall As Government Reopens,” the headline reads on APNews.com. The only apparent written indication that the press release was not an actual AP article was a dateline with the name of the wire service as evidenced by a screenshot captured on January 28. An uninformed reader would have been forgiven for mistaking the press releases for a news article. AP appears to be trying to address the problem. On February 27, the news service incorporated more visual indications to alert readers to the fact that what they are viewing is not the newsroom’s reporting. As of this writing, press release content on site displays a bolded disclosure above the headline and a note stating: “This content is a press release from our partner [wire company name]. The AP newsroom and editorial departments were not involved in its creation.” However, as recently as last month, the pages displaying such releases did not include those elements, as shown in screenshots and archives of press releases on AP’s site.
via rightwing watch: The Associated Press Circulated Right-Wing Misinformation