AP assigns 11 fact-checkers to Palin’s book, but none to others

The Associated Press assigned 11 reporters to fact check Sarah Palin’s book. They found only minor questions on already-known disputed points. But they didn’t give this level of scrutiny to books by President Obama, Vice-President Biden, or other political figures. Why would this be?

When the former Republican vice presidential candidate and former Alaska governor wrote her autobiography, the AP found a copy before its release date and assigned 11 people to fact check all 432 pages. . . .

AP spokesman Paul Colford said the organization, with more than 4,000 employees, and 49 Pulitzer Prizes earned for asking the hard questions, has the luxury of putting multiple reporters on major stories. He confirmed 11 people worked on the story, but not all full-time. He refused to say, however, if similar number of journalists were assigned to review other political books, or if Palin has been treated differently. . . .

Reviewing books and holding public figures accountable is at the core of good journalism, but the treatment Palin’s book received appears to be something new for the AP. The organization did not review for accuracy recent books by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, then-Sen. Joe Biden, either book by Barack Obama released before he was president or autobiographies by Bill or Hillary Clinton. The AP did more traditional news stories on those books. The attraction to Palin doesnt appear to be partisan, since AP didnt fact-check recent political tomes by Republicans Rudy Giuliani or Newt Gingrich.