AP's Ted Bridis Fact Checks His Own Bogus Claims, Now Being Repeated By Others, Admitting They're False

from the wait,-what? dept

Earlier this week, we wrote about an absolutely ridiculous Associated Press story by reporter Ted Bridis, claiming that law enforcement investigating the San Bernardino shootings are being somehow held back because of the close of the NSA's Section 215 phone records program. There were all sorts of problems with that story, so it's great to see the Associated Press ask one of its enterprising young reporters -- a guy who goes by the name Ted Bridis -- to do a "fact check" piece on Republican Presidential candidates who are now repeating the very claims that Bridis himself made earlier in the week.

This "other" Ted Bridis (along with Ken Dilanian) suddenly notices that the claims that Ted Bridis of earlier this week reported are magically false when repeated by others:
In the wake of the California shootings, Republican presidential candidates Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and Lindsey Graham are complaining that U.S. intelligence agencies have lost their authority to collect phone records on Americans under a controversial National Security Agency surveillance program. They want the government to bring that program back.

All four candidates have overstated their case.

Their comments fail to acknowledge key provisions of a new U.S. law. While the new law ended the bulk collection of phone records, it still allows the government to obtain records on a case-by-case basis with court approval.
The new "fact check" piece even admits that Rubio, at the very least, cited Bridis' earlier report, but then tries to pretend he just didn't read it right. Except that's bullshit. The problem was with the article, which had a giant headline reading: "California terror investigators can't view NSA phone records" and includes ominous descriptions like the following:
Under a shutdown order by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the government was prohibited from collecting phone records in wholesale ways starting Nov. 29.

"After November 28, 2015, no access to the BR (business record) metadata (phone records) will be permitted for intelligence analysis purposes," U.S. District Judge Michael W. Mosman of Portland ruled. "Hence, queries of the BR metadata for the purpose of obtaining foreign intelligence information will no longer be permitted."

The California shootings happened four days later. The court revealed the order publicly just hours before the shootings.
The clear -- but totally bullshit -- implications of this are that the shutting down of the Section 215 records collection somehow harms the investigation. To then come back a day or so later and pretend that politicians running with this clear implication of your own article are somehow the ones to be shamed is pretty ridiculous.
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Filed Under: fact check, journalism, nsa, san bernardino attacks, section 215, surveillance, ted birdis
Companies: associated press

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Dec 2015 @ 8:37am

    ha ha ha!!!

    It just goes to show how politics truly works!

    It NOT about what you truly believe, its about the group think. The moment one side has taken a side, you have no choice but to disagree, even if you are going to do the exact same thing... just with different wording explaining how your murdering that thing is not actually murdering that thing because of this other thing!

    It is a shame that the public does not have the actual energy to make people like this wear that shit they crap out.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Yes, I know I'm commenting anonymously, 10 Dec 2015 @ 9:10am

    Maybe this is the new way to decide wether or not to fire this `reporter'?
    Either way, the AP made itself less believable.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Dec 2015 @ 9:17am

    What a tangled web we weave...

    ...when first we practice to deceive. In this Dems rush to destroy Repbubs, he destroys himself. Glad to see he was willing to take one for the team.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 10 Dec 2015 @ 9:43am


    Mainstream journalistic integrity was exchanged for profit some time ago. Misinformation is now a tactic, to sell another story. No more free corrections.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Dec 2015 @ 11:29am

      Re: Strategy

      ...No more free corrections...

      Every newspaper and magazine I've read had a correction section BUT it's buried inside, usually under the masthead or editorial page(s). Very rarely do I see a correction as a main story on the front page.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    michael, 10 Dec 2015 @ 10:29am


    In your previous article about this, you called him "Tom Bridis." Now in this article, you call him "Ted Birdis."


    It's almost like someone at Techdirt doesn't want these articles to come up when you google the correct name.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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