Americans affected by reading yesterday's Associated Press story "Texas Wildfire Victims Wondering Where Perry Is" woke up today to bewilderment, as the story had been replaced with this squib, "BC-US–Perry-Wildfires-Story". The original story, which Americans all over the nation are reprinting in its entirety for the sake of posterity, read as follows:
Texas wildfire victims wondering where Perry is
BASTROP, Texas (AP) — Residents affected by a devastating Central Texas wildfire are growing impatient with state officials and questioning why Gov. Rick Perry hasn't spent more time there.
Some residents yelled at Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst when he visited the command center in Bastrop County Friday, asking where Perry is and why they haven't had any housing help.
Wildfires have destroyed nearly 1,400 homes about 25 miles from Austin.
Perry, running for the Republican nomination for president, interrupted his campaign and returned to Texas for two days before heading to California for a debate Wednesday. He is now fundraising in California.
Perry's office said "everything that needs to be done to respond to these fires is being done."
Dewhurst said the White House hasn't yet replied to a request for federal aid.
Yet this morning, the story read simply:
STORY REMOVED: BC-US–Perry-Wildfires story
BASTROP, Texas — The Associated Press has withdrawn its story about Texas residents questioning why Gov. Rick Perry has not spent more time in areas affected by wildfires. The single person who asked about Perry's involvement was not an area resident.
Also missing was the name of the Associated Press reporter who wrote the story. People all over the nation wondered what happened to the name. Was it deliberately removed? Or was it edited? Was the story written by Scott Lindlaw, or Tom Hayes?, mused puzzled Americans from coast to coast.
Update: In fact it appears that only one person, rather than "puzzled Americans American from coast to coast" is wondering who wrote the withdrawn Associated Press story. Also, we have learned that only one person woke up today in bewilderment that the story was missing. That person later clarified that he woke up bewildered because a local woodpecker was making noise against a tree in the yard, rather than for reasons having to do with the missing Associated Press story.
However, Popehat stands by this article, because the one person cited above is in fact an American. Moreover, we feel that his behavior is indicative of a growing trend among Americans who worry about the accuracy of stories from the Associated Press.
Finally, Popehat now acknowledges that much of the reporting for this story was originally performed by the Wall Street Journal's James Taranto.