Charles Babington files a dispatch.
Headlined, "SPIN METER: Obama cools rhetoric on AIG bonuses."
Here's the painfully bad lead:
President Barack Obama raced to the front of the pitchfork crowd last week, feeding public furor over bonuses paid to publicly rescued companies. But now, amid signs that rescinding the bonuses might undermine his financial-sector bailout plan, the president is waving an olive branch.
That's right. According to the AP, Obama spent last week feeding public furor with some apparently wild rhetoric about AIG bonuses. This week, not so much.
That struck us as odd because we remember reading lots of theater critiques last week about how Obama wasn't being animated enough; that he was acting too cool and was lagging behind the public outrage over AIG. But according to Babington, Obama was out front of the angry pack and was in fact feeding it.
So what exactly did Obama say last week to suggest he was feeding the angry mobs? Wouldn't you know it, Babington forgets to quote angry Obama. It's true. The entire premise of the article is suggesting that Obama's rhetoric changed on the topic of AIG; how it went from hot to cold. Yet nowhere in the article does Babington ever quote what Obama said about AIG last week.
In an article all about Obama's rhetoric, the AP leaves out any specific examples of Obama's "pitchfork" rhetoric.
Like we said, just when you thought...