The Associated Press landed in hot water after they tweeted a harsh criticism of former President George H.W. Bush in their announcement of his death. Now, they’re taking their criticisms back.
As IJR previously reported, the Associated Press picked the worst parts of the former president’s legacy to announce his death. The since-deleted tweet read:
George H.W. Bush, a patrician New Englander whose presidency soared with the coalition victory over Iraq in Kuwait, but then plummeted in the throes of a weak economy that led voters to turn him out of office after a single term, has died. He was 94. https://t.co/LaSU5ho2ospic.twitter.com/ld9KqRHdaU
— The Associated Press (@AP) December 1, 2018
In response to this tweet, the Associated Press was slammed by Twitter users who pointed out that President Bush did a lot more than just lose reelection. He was a war hero, director of the CIA, a philanthropist, and much more.
In fact, as Parkland shooting survivor Kyle Kashuv pointed out, the Associated Press was much more friendly to Fidel Castro than they were to President Bush.
— Kyle Kashuv (@KyleKashuv) December 1, 2018
After being pounded online for more than a day, the Associated Press finally took down the tweet and updated their coverage to properly reflect the legacy of the 41st president.
We’ve deleted a tweet and revised a story on the death of President George H.W. Bush because the tweet and the opening of the story referenced his 1992 electoral defeat and omitted his WWII service.
— The Associated Press (@AP) December 2, 2018
The response to the Associated Press’s deletion was mixed. Some appreciated the deletion while others felt it was much too late for it to matter.
— Ben Domenech (@bdomenech) December 2, 2018
— Derek Hunter (@derekahunter) December 2, 2018
Took you guys 2 full days to come up with a revision. Eat shit. https://t.co/316qqFp2xL
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) December 2, 2018
You’re a joke
— Kyle Kashuv (@KyleKashuv) December 2, 2018
Correction: “We deleted a tweet because we intentionally tried to attack the legacy of a good man, the day that he died because we disagree with his politics.”
— JT Lewis (@thejtlewis) December 2, 2018
While there were many who were outraged by the Associated Press’s tweet, some felt like they did not need to make the deletion because the tweet, albeit harsh, was factually accurate.
This is … weird. Those were stylistic, factually accurate choices, not errors. I'm all for reverence, but I'm also about remembering very powerful people for the people they were and the things they did over hagiography. https://t.co/gpx7FReC1P
— Eric Lubbers ☀️ (@brofax) December 2, 2018
Even if it was just a stylistic decision, it still is hard to see what the point of the criticism was. Although it looks like the Associated Press tried to make the situation right by deleting the tweet and updating their coverage, it doesn’t look like they will come away with support on either side after this debacle.