You might want to sit down for this … it seems that the Associated Press is engaged in some terrible, horrible, no-good, very-bad “reporting.”

As the Washington Free Beacon’s Alex Griswold explains, the AP has been trafficking in a bizarre conspiracy theory surrounding the 2014 protests in Ferguson, Missouri:

More:

“Puzzling number of men tied to Ferguson protests have died,” reads the Monday headline from the Associated Press. Other outlets have expanded on this innuendo: “Deaths Of Six Men Tied To Ferguson Protests Prompt Fear Of Sinister Connection“; “Deaths of six men tied to Ferguson protests alarm activists“; “Deaths of Ferguson activists lead some to believe something sinister is at play.”

Despite its “puzzlement,” the AP cites police statements noting most of the deaths weren’t murders and also the crime rate and lack of mental health resources available to black Ferguson residents. But the AP also takes a bizarre “both sides” approach to the issue, quoting activists insisting there is something sinister going on, perpetrated by shadowy “white supremacists or police sympathizers.” The deaths are listed out one by one, often with clarifying details omitted.

As with the Clinton conspiracies, the “Ferguson body count” is less scary when considering that thousands participated in the 2014 protests, the deaths took place over a span of five years, and that some of the dead men’s connections to the protests are dubious.

Read the whole thing. As Griswold explains, there’s no conclusive evidence whatsoever of any conspiracy to murder Ferguson protesters. But the AP, like so many other media outlets, just can’t resist a juicy narrative. Not even — or maybe especially — if that narrative has no basis in reality.

Yes we do. And it’s most definitely not journalism.