Sunday, July 26, 2009

Selective Reporting

PALIN STEPS DOWN - New York Post

A piece on Sarah stepping down today. Fine. Whatever. Said piece quotes Larry Landry of Fairbanks, Alaska. To wit:

Larry Landry, 51, of Fairbanks held up a red, white and blue sign that that read, "Quitting: the new American value." The other side read: "Thanks for the laughs."

Landry, a registered independent, said he respected Palin when she ran for governor in 2006, but she changed during last year's presidential campaign.

"She turned into a vicious vixen," he said. "She descended into ugly, divisive politics."


Read that about five minutes ago. My first thought was, "Huh... Vicious vixen? Seems kind of bitter. I wonder just how 'independent" Larry is."

Well, now... I'm sure he is a registered independent. However, independent Mr. Landry is also:

-a donor to a PAC that opposed Alaska Republican congressman Don Young

-took part in the "Global Day of Fasting to Stop Star Wars

-published an article advocating "fair trade, green consumerism and socially responsible investing"

and

-was a supporter of a ballot measure which would have called for government funding of election campaigns. (the ballot measure went down 64% to 35%, by the way)

Now, Mr. Landry is completely entitled to hold any of these views. He's perfectly free to hold his sign up at Sarah Palin's speech. My problem, as always, is that by merely identifying him as "a registered independent," the New York Post gave us an impression of the man that is not consistent with the facts.

By saying he is a registered independent, the implication is that he is non-partisan and moderate. Clearly, his other positions suggest that he is a man who leans fairly far to the left. Again, that's fine. What isn't fine is that the Post failed to put his beliefs regarding Sarah Palin in an appropriate context. In fact, by framing him as "a registered independent" they suggest that Palin has lost the support of the middle.

Mr. Landry may not be a Democrat or a Republican but he doesn't strike me as a moderate in any sense of the word.

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