Last Thursday, the Associated Press (AP), one of the most trusted names in news (as another Leftist propaganda outfit claims about itself), published a story about how some Cubans in Miami oppose a Democrat Party effort to buy up Spanish-language radio stations in South Florida. The article said that one Trump supporter insisted that this would not lead to editorial changes, but added that “Martha Flores, who hosts an evening show on Radio Mambi, isn’t sure about that. She attended the news conference but declined to speak.” The article continued: “‘Look at this,’ Flores said, pointing at her eyes watering. I know I would just cry.’” This was touching, but there was just one problem: Martha Flores was not actually at the news conference. She died in 2020. This is AP: the people who claim the ability and authority to tell you what news is accurate and what isn’t.
In response to AP’s massive error, conservative pundit Giancarlo Sopo was savage, tweeting: “I’m so confused by this article. The AP says it interviewed Miami Radio host Martha Flores on Wednesday, but she’s been dead for two years. How the hell did they pull this off? Séance? An ouija board? Did they hire a babalawo to talk to her?” He added a screenshot of a July 19, 2020 article announcing Flores’ death with the caption: “Context: Martha Flores was considered Miami’s ‘Queen of Radio.’ She was a pioneer of Spanish talk radio and died two years ago at the age of 92. It was widely reported at the time.” Sopo concluded: “All I’m going to say is that if you saw Martha at a press conference this week, don’t call your editor. Call these guys…,” and he attached a gif of the main characters from the movie Ghostbusters.
Thus called out, AP revised its article and added a correction: “This story was first published on June 9, 2022. It was updated on June 11, 2022 to remove comments erroneously attributed to Martha Flores, former host of a show on Radio Mambi in Miami, one of the stations in the proposed deal. Flores died in 2020. The comments were made by another woman. This version of the story removes those comments.”
After the correction was issued, Sopo minimized the incident: “While this is very funny, in fairness to the reporter, I can understand how this confusion occurred. Martha’s hairstyle was common among Cuban women of her generation. I can see how someone may confuse one of her contemporaries for her at an event like this. Still funny.” However, Christina Pushaw, the spokesperson for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fearless), explained why AP shouldn’t be let off the hook that easily: “But that doesn’t make it any more excusable for a journalist… if they’re writing about this topic, they should know she died bc it was widely reported in media. If not, presumably they should know there are a lot of Cubans in Miami so they can’t just assume someone is her.” To that, Sopo responded: “I’m a generous man and was trying to be as kind and understanding as possible.” Pushaw replied: “You have more patience for these ignorant media activists than i do.”
And that’s the point. AP’s “ignorant media activists” not only make embarrassing errors such as this one but consider themselves qualified to issue regular “fact checks” on the news, working from the assumption that Americans are either too stupid or too preoccupied with other matters to be able to sift truth from falsehood for themselves and so need the wise heads of AP to do it for them. This is the same arrogance that led the Biden administration to set up a Disinformation Governance Board in the Department of Homeland Security, headed by a committed fascist who has frequently trafficked in disinformation herself but who still believed that she could take it upon herself to tell Americans what they should and should not regard as fact.
In the Left’s perfect world, the only news that would get reported at all would be material that would be approved by some authority, staffed by far-Leftists, of course, as fitting the accepted narrative. But the people who would constitute such authorities, besides being hardcore Leftist ideologues, also simply can’t get out of their own way, and haven’t demonstrated that they themselves have the basic ability to sift truth from falsehood, even as they’re claiming to be able to do this for everyone else. What else could Martha Flores, who in life was a staunch foe of Cuba’s Communist regime, do but shed a tear at this turn of events?
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 23 books including many bestsellers, such as The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), The Truth About Muhammad and The History of Jihad. His latest book is The Critical Qur’an. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.