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.

The same thing, over and over

Senator Mitch McConnell is the minority leader of the U.S. Senate.

Some claim something else.

“In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, provided to The Daily Beast, Cruz writes… ” – National Journal, June 26

“Harvard geochemist Daniel Schrag, an adviser to Obama on climate change, told The New York Times that despite political reluctance, ‘a war on coal is exactly what’s needed.’ Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., tweeted that this is ‘tantamount to declaring a ‘War on Jobs.”” – National Journal, June 25, 2013 (and Yahoo! fell for it)

“‘There is really no sitting Democrat that I can think of right now that has the firepower, monetarily, or has enough gravitas to take him on significantly. I’d be surprised if anybody can run against him who thinks they have a further career in politics.’ –Bruce Lunsford, who ran against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in 2008 (ABC News)” – National Journal, June 24

“The sequester plan that Nabors outlined at the Capitol was refined, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Vice President Joe Biden both weighing in.” – National Journal, May 30

“No one can accuse Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of not preparing for his 2014 campaign — or of failing to take the potential for a tea party primary challenge seriously.” – National Journal, September 13

“Looking to Capitol Hill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., will be on Face the Nation, while Sens. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, will be on State of the Union, all discussing the gridlock that has brought that chamber to a near stand-still, what the Senate plans to and can accomplish before the election, as well as each party’s chance of being in the majority after the election.”

(And, on the same page, there is a two-for-one bonus)

“Face the Nation hosts Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.” – National Journal, May 18, 2012

“In a speech in his home state of Kentucky on Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that Obama’s comments were ‘intolerable’ and an attempt to intimidate the Court into ruling the way he wanted.” – National Journal, April 6, 2012

And, then ladies and gentlemen, there is this one, the Big Kahuna.  The biggest, the baddest, the New-Yorkiest: Da Times.

“Republicans, including the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, and the House leader, Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, have called on Mr. Obama to discard the plan unveiled on Monday, as well as the bills adopted by the House and Senate late last year, and to start over.” – New York Times, February 25, 2010

They didn’t make a correction, but the guy who wrote that is in Russia, now.