In an odd story at HuffPost (tip to Instapundit), Larisa Alexandrovna says that two weeks of work on a story she wrote for an online news service was ripped off by the Associated Press. The story involved changes in security clearance standards that might affect gays, lesbians, and bi-sexuals. She complained to the AP:
We contacted an AP senior editor and ombudsmen both and both admitted to having had the article passed on to them, and both stated that they viewed us as a blog and because we were a blog, they did not need to credit us. . . . [W]we made a point of tape recording the AP apparatchiks admitting to taking our work and using it without attribution, stating "we do not credit blogs".
But it gets stranger: According to Alexandrovna, AP didn't just take her work, they misattributed the work to other people. Even if there were some legitimate reason for AP's policy, that would not justify misleading readers. The AP wrote:
"Lesbian and gay advocacy groups recently found the change in an 18-page document distributed by National security adviser Stephen Hadley on Dec. 29, without public notice." Yes, the groups had found it in my article, which they gave to the AP.
But the strangeness doesn't stop there. The AP does credit bloggers.
I did a search of the last 7 days of AP headlines and stories and got 52 hits for the word "blog." One might also search for "blogger."
Although most of these stories did not credit blogs, some did. The first AP story I skimmed discussed several bloggers and included this statement, which sounded like credit:
A self-described Iraqi blogger translated one of the documents for the American blog pajamasmedia.com - a Sept. 15, 2001, memo from the Iraqi intelligence service that reported about an Afghan source who had been told that a group from Osama bin Laden and the Taliban had visited Iraq.
Or consider this AP story:
Blogger Glenn Reynolds of instapundit.com predicted Summers' fall would help conservatives pass bills monitoring academic freedom - including one currently under consideration in South Dakota's legislature.
AP was apparently referring to this post at Instapundit:
MORE ON SOUTH DAKOTA'S intellectual diversity legislation. I'm guessing that the publicity over the Larry Summers affair will give this sort of thing a boost.
Unless I'm missing something, it appears that AP does sometimes credit things that they read on blogs and then quote or paraphrase.
I find this story triply strange.