This is either very clever, or evidence of serial incompetence.

The Associated Press (a noun used for lack of a name of one person) writes, “Maria has been placed in temporary care since last week after authorities raided a Roma settlement in central Greece and later discovered that girl was not the child of the couple she was living were not her parents.”

That confounding string of words that looks like a sentence is repeated by the Christian Science Monitor (10/25), Huffington Post (10/25, 10:16 AM), Los Angeles Times (7:53 AM), Time, Yahoo and countless other new outlets.

And Youtube.

Since no author is identified, here is the name of the “Senior Vice President – Executive Editor” of the AP: Kathleen Carroll. Perhaps she signed-off on the article.

The gobledygook is also on the website of the AP, itself (10:16 AM ET). It occurs on pages in the domain, which have newspapers’ names at the top of each.

However, an item with some identical sentences as the first item, on, states: “Maria has been placed in temporary care since last week after authorities raided a Roma settlement in central Greece and later discovered that girl was not the child of a Greek Roma couple she was living with.” (10:40 AM EDT)

Astoundingly (as it comes after the nonsense in the first article) the next word string is “The couple has been arrested, and who have been charged for allegedly abducting Maria and document fraud.”

That story contains a by-line, and its gibberish is repeated by the Washington Post, Fox News, CBS and the Times of Mumbai. There are no corrections (or “correctives“) associated with those items on the AP’s correction page.

The news agency also maintains a story, dated June, 2012, that simultaneously identifies (impossibly so) both Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) as the U.S. Senate majority leader.

record of American history by the Senate indicates that only Senator Reid is Majority Leader of that body. The Onion identifies Senator McConnell as “Senate Minority Leader” (emphasis added).

Meanwhile, another inaccurate AP story, on Yahoo, falsely gives Senator McConnell the title, “Senate Majority Leader.” Unlike gibberish or a misspelled name, that is an error of fact.

Error on majority/minority 2013-07-26

Senator Mitch McConnell (D-Ky.) is U.S. Senate Minority Leader, not Majority Leader. However: In an ironic twist, yesterday, a guy micro-blogged: “You are living on Planet Romney[:] Won the Election and Mitch McConnell is Majority Leader” while the publication he writes for, indeed, states:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said most Republicans would vote for the bill, even though it does not include riders that would cancel funding for controversial programs,


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell put the onus of compromise during next week’s lame-duck session on Democrats.


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the legislation had underperformed.

But, the publication–somewhat to its credit–appears to be engaged with its readers, having reacted to related comments (one of which gets the writer’s name wrong (twice) while correcting the writer) to another story with this thing you could call the Itty Bitty Majority Ditty.  For sure, a correction was made, but, more accurately speaking, the error just disappeared. Adding to the digital mush, yet another publication republished one of the errant stories (complete with goof).  And, yet another journal (while also mangling the writer’s name) quoted some of the one that was corrected, obviously before the correction.


Back to the point:  A historically and completely false doozy from the Washington Post states, “Some Republicans, particularly Issa and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), have argued that the administration was essentially bullying Obama’s opponents.”

That one is the winner in The McConnell Bind (a test with control and experimental groups) for this round, because da Post did da deed: It still states that employers use credit scores, and of course they do not.

The truth about what is not the truth is stranger than fiction.