Politico and AP Claim ‘EXCLUSIVE’ on Lance

At 6:58 this morning, Politico published Mike Allen’s story on Lance Armstrong‘s retirement. The story made no mention of an AP story that came in hours earlier. The story’s lede reads, “a top adviser told POLITICO.” They did use an AP photograph. In Allen’s Playbook that arrived at 6:47 a.m., here’s how the story looked:

EXCLUSIVE – Off the bike and onto the campaign trail: Lance Armstrong,
cancer survivor and record seven-time winner of the Tour de France,
will announce his retirement from competitive cycling today, a top
adviser tells POLITICO.

The AP claimed that their story was an “AP EXCLUSIVE.” That rolled in at 3:35 a.m.

We’ve requested comment from Allen.

Update: Allen notes that the timing on the AP story is 3:35 a.m. Pacific Time. Which means the East Coast time is: 6:35 a.m.

A former Politico reporter wrote in to say that the Armstrong story, despite the political references that it contains, is not a typical story for the publication: “The story was called ‘Armstrong retires from cycling.’ That belongs in Sports Illustrated not Politico. Fact is: if I had proposed doing an article on a retiring sports figure during my time there, I’d have been laughed at. But Mike just lives by different rules there.”