[Guest post by DRJ]
Earlier this evening in a post titled Comparing the Rhetoric, I looked at some of the ways Barack Obama fired up his supporters and compared them to a recent statement by Sarah Palin. The post also looked at how some in the media (in that case, CNN) responded.
It turns out I was a day late and a dollar short because Dana had already made the same comparison in a letter to the authors of this LA Times’ article. As Dana puts it, the LA Times’ article includes unnamed websites referencing Palin’s “incendiary tones.” Dana decided to write the authors in the “interest of even-handed reporting,” and she has given me her permission to reprint it here:
Date: Mar 28, 2010
Subject: Fwd: In the interest of even handed news reporting…
To: [redacted by DRJ]
Ms. Hennessey and Ms. Powers,
I look forward to your reporting on the harassment of Andrew Breitbart and the egging of his bus by Reid supporters at the Tea Party rally yesterday in Spotlight, NV. They even went so far as to make a false claim to the police that Breitbart himself did the harassing and egging – of his bus. In light of making a point to bring up the issue of incendiary tones in your Saturday piece, “‘Tea Party’ protesters in Nevada target health law”, this would seem to be a very appropriate and newsworthy followup, and one which readers deserve to know about. In the interest of even-handed reporting…
You yourselves made several provoking statements:
Several websites, including Palin’s, have been cited as examples of the incendiary tone. In announcing her efforts to try to unseat key Democratic members of the House, Palin’s site used the image of a rifle scope. She told her supporters via Twitter, “Don’t retreat, instead – RELOAD.”
Perhaps you forgot President Obama’s comment made to his supporters during the campaign: “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” Obama said in Philadelphia last night.” (http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0608/Obama_brings_a_gun_to_a_knife_fight.html)
The point is it’s convenient to be melodramatic over the right’s obvious metaphor of RELOAD and equally convenient to ignore Mr. Obama’s obvious metaphor. Both are painfully and clearly metaphors, non-violent, and yet you chose to continue to attempt to reinforce the faux outrage … over Palin of course. However that is not an impartial reporting of events. Either the President’s metaphor is equally as incendiary as Palin’s, or neither is.
So here’s an opportunity to level the playing field with some unbiased reporting. The link for Breitbart is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zJKoT5RgK0&feature=player_embedded
Quite obviously you are able to reach him via email/phone to confirm and verify, and in the interest of unbiased journalism and even-handed reporting, I look forward to seeing this in print in the LAT pages.
Credibility is all a newspaper’s got anymore…
We await their response.