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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Thursday, February 08, 2007

McIlheran Watch: Updates

by folkbum

Following up on my post this morning:
  1. UPDATE: Forgot to mention when I first posted this that Bill Donohue may have broken the law.
  2. Nothing yet from McIlheran on the anti-semitic and anti-Mormon blogger working for John McCain.
  3. The Edwards campaign is keeping the bloggers in question; good for him. The bloviators (including McIlheran) who raised the fuss weren't going to vote for Edwards anyway, so why should he have been cowed by them?
  4. BlogPac is collecting signatures to send to news organizations that promoted the story, along with this message:
    I would like to express my concern about the story your organization did yesterday on the Edwards campaign bloggers. It has come to my attention that you did not tell the whole story or offer the kind of context that would have properly informed your readers.

    William Donohue of the Catholic League, who is quoted throughout the stories expressing his outrage at the religious intolerance of the bloggers, is on the record in numerous venues expressing extremely vulgar and religiously intolerant views himself such as "Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular." In a story such as this, where characters are being assaulted, it is the duty of a reporter to vet the source.

    Furthermore, your focus on the Edwards campaign to the exclusion of others gives a biased view of the campaign blogger phenomenon as a whole and leaves the impression with the reader that this is the only controversial hire in this election cycle. This is incorrect. In fact, John McCain's campaign blogger Patrick Hynes is the subject of substantial controversy surrounding his failure to reveal his role after he was hired and his well documented religious intolerance, going so far as to say that anyone who doesn't believe that the US is a Christian nation is stupid.

    And it's not just his blogger. John McCain's campaign manager, Terry Nelson, was an unindicted co-conspirator in the Tom Delay TMPAC scandal and the man responsible for the racist 'call me' ad used against Harold Ford in 2006, an irrefutable fact which Nelson's boss John McCain has denied.

    No one disputes that covering the hiring of campaign staff is perfectly legitimate. However you don't serve your readers when you fail to provide context or perform due diligence on those who offer themselves as critics. I hope that we do not see a reprise of the trivial campaign coverage of recent years or more willingness to air unsubstantiated "swiftboat" style attacks.

    And I would expect that in the interest of accuracy and ethical journalism, you will devote some time and resources to covering the controversial staffers of the McCain campaign. As the presumptive Republican frontrunner, his blogger Patrick Hynes' questionable earlier internet writings expressing religious intolerance and his strategist Terry Nelson's questionable campaign tactics warrant an investigation.
  5. I love digby.

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