Eerily Familiar: KPRC, KTRK and KHOU Getting Dinged by Same AP Headline

It was a pretty safe bet that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney would face what Rodney Dangerfield called a "tough crowd" at the NAACP annual convention being held at the George R. Brown Convention Center this week. Romney's platform of repealing Obamacare and tax cuts for the "job creators" aren't popular conversation starters among your average NAACP convention goer.

So, it shouldn't come as a shock that when he took aim at the nation's first and only black president, the attendees got a little on the restless side, even tossing some boos his way. What is a little surprising is that all three of the traditional major television networks ran the same Associated Press headline for the story.

It is common practice for news outfits to run syndicated news stories, particularly if the syndicated story is put together more quickly than the local one. No doubt KHOU Channel 11, KPRC Channel 2 and KTRK channel 13 will all have their own reports by the late afternoon and certainly for the early news. But, in a pinch, the syndicated story will do.

But, it is also common practice to alter the headline, particularly a headline like "Romney draws boos from NAACP when he dings Obama." To be fair, 13 added the "GOP Presidential Nominee Mitt" to the beginning (improved search engine optimization, anyone?), but for all of them to have what amounts to the exact same headline using a descriptor as colorful and unique as "dings" is pretty remarkable.

Out of the big four, only KRIV Fox 26 went with its own headline and, in fact, with its own story, beating the other three to the punch.

Check out our own story on Romney's address to the NAACP. We can promise you a different headline.

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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke