It’s probably not a good thing when a news organization that calls itself “the essential global news network” publishes a story that reads like a piece from The Onion.  From the AP, via Talking Points Memo.

From George Washington’s foxhound “Drunkard” to George W. Bush’s terriers “Barney” and “Miss Beazley,” pets are a longtime presidential tradition for which the presumed Republican nominee seems well prepared, with more than a dozen.

The apparent Democratic nominee Barack Obama, on the other hand, doesn’t have a pet at home.

The pet-owning public seems to have noticed the difference.

An AP-Yahoo! News poll found that pet owners favor McCain over Obama 42 percent to 37 percent, with dog owners particularly in McCain’s corner.

“I think a person who owns a pet is a more compassionate person — caring, giving, trustworthy. I like pet owners,” said Janet Taylor of Plymouth, Mass.

This is the kind of journalism that gets on my nerves.

We have soldiers fighting in Iraq, the economy is falling apart, and the Associated Press thinks that publishing a story examining the connection between animals being domesticated and the presidential election is something worth reading.

This is from the Associated Press’s Statement of News Values and Principles:

For more than a century and a half, men and women of The Associated Press have had the privilege of bringing truth to the world. They have gone to great lengths, overcome great obstacles – and, too often, made great and horrific sacrifices – to ensure that the news was reported quickly, accurately and honestly.

I don’t think I need to point out how absurd this story sounds after reading that.  AP — step it up.