Saturday, June 26, 2010

An Education For The Media

Assumptions made by reporters are the first lesson in Reporting 101. Never assume, always, always verify your facts. If you think you verified them go verify them again.

Let's look at the latest piece of campaign reporting misinformation regarding Paul Kanjorski's statements about minorities.

In today's Times Leader Bill O'Boyle pens a story about Democratic political collegues coming to the rescue of Kanjorski despite his insensitive statements made at a conference hearing where he stated his proposal was to help "good American people", not "minorities" or "defective" people, a summation written in the Los Angeles Times.

Several members of Congress came to the defense of U.S. Rep. Paul Kanjorski Friday after he was taken to task for remarks he made during a committee hearing in Washington, D.C.

Kanjorski’s challenger, Republican Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta, issued a press release Thursday criticizing the congressman for making what Barletta termed “insensitive” remarks directed toward minorities.

Mr. O'Boyle left out some important information regarding the events that lead up to the press release by the Barletta camp.

Look at this article POSTED on 06/23/1010. If you trace the comments they started at 8:36P.M. on JUNE 23, 2010. The video itself is time stamped at 3:00 P.M. when Kanjorski made his disparaging remarks. The story was less than five hours old when it was reported on Human Events.

Look at this post over at by Ed Driscoll from JUNE 23, 2010.

At the Washington Times, Kerry writes:

Connie Hair at Human Events has posted this shocking video of Rep. Paul Kanjorski, Pennsylvania Democrat, at a Wednesday conference committee hearing to merge the House and Senate versions of the recently-passed financial regulation bills. Here he talks about the debilitating effects of the recession on his constituents.

The Washington Times is already carrying the story on June 23. The first comment to that story is June 24, 2010 at 6:17 A.M.

The NRCC issues a press release on 06/24/2010. It states "A Kanjorski spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment."

On June 24, 2010 Lou Barletta's campaign issued this press release. The campaign was simply responding to the article that appeared on Human Events almost 24 hours prior. The campaign received numerous phone calls for comments about Kanjorski's statements.

The Standard Speaker reports on Barletta's release on June 25, 2010. Again it is reported that Efforts to reach Kanjorski were unsuccessful. The Times Leader did not run the story. Why?

It is a known fact that a campaign spokesperson for Kanjorski called the TL over this article. Livid might be an understatement.

Perform a Goggole search about Kanjorski's remarks and see the results. You will find pages and pages of coverage regarding Paul Kanjorski's insulting diatribe. But the Times Leader didn't run anything about the original story, just this piece to come to Kanjorsk's rescue. Why? O'Boyle didn't have any problem getting reactions from Kanjorski and his cronies for his story despite no response on previous attempts by the media.

Let's discuss an ethical issue for the Times Leader. It is no secret that Joe Healey, City Editor at the Times Leader is friends with Ed Mitchell, media consultant for Kanjorski's campaign. His friendship association with Ed Mitchell openly on FACEBOOK result is more than an apparent conflict of interest. How can a person in Healey's capacity sustain any criticism and claim complete disassociation from Kanjorski's campaign? Is Joe Healey involved in any decisions in the editorial room regarding article and content covering Paul Kanjorski?

The fact that the original article about Kanjorski's comments went viral all over the country including its placement at Number 3 on ABC news brings into question decisions made inside the Times Leader not to cover the original story but print the "saving grace" to help Kanjorski.

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