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RE: Media myths (Was Townsend)

As a local elected official that does get quoted occasionally in the area
newspapers (Lawrence Eagle-Trib; Derry News; Manchester Union-Leader),
reporters get it wrong quite frequently, and tend to draw incorrect
conclusions based on small samples of information they gather.

This has happened to me more than once, including recently declaring my view
on a contentious local issue simply because I asked a few critical questions
about the issue, the reporter (without asking me) drew a conclusion about my
position on the issue.

So, as much as I may think Gore is a blowhard, there is reason to believe
that his "exaggerations" may themselves be exaggerations.

Lord knows the (generally) left-of-center US print media make all kinds of
bogus conclusions about right-of-center politicians.

"All the news that's fit to MISprint" may be more appropriate about US
journalism in the 21st Century.

Paul Hopfgarten
PO Box 279
East Derry NH 03041
(V) 603-426-5159
(F) 603-437-7080
(C) 603-571-5445

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-boston-radio-interest@bostonradio.org
> [mailto:owner-boston-radio-interest@bostonradio.org]On Behalf Of Donna
> Halper
> Sent: Wednesday, January 15, 2003 1:34 PM
> To: boston-radio-interest@bostonradio.org
> Subject: Re: Media myths (Was Townsend)
> Before this deteriorates into the anti- and pro- Gore factions, I
> am fairly
> neutral in the matter, but because I train journalists, objectivity is
> important to me.  Please consider that the Boston Globe ran an article
> about a New Hampshire teacher whose students found more than 10 separate
> cases of various newspapers attributed quotes to Gore that he never
> said:  the class had an assignment that was not just about Gore, but
> rather, it was a civics class that was studying whether reporters quote
> people accurately, and when they traced transcripts and tapes of speeches
> and compared them with newspaper accounts, they found many misquotes. I
> have the article and the citation.  There is also an excellent article in
> the Washington Monthly, a well-respected political magazine that slants
> left on some issues and right on others, but which found similar examples
> of press distortions regarding candidates.  They did an interesting cover
> story about the press misquotes of Gore called "He's No
> Pinocchio" in their
> April 2000 issue... Like it or not, many of the quotes attributed to Gore
> are in the category of urban legend.  From speeches I have heard, he said
> he was the first senator to have a web page (which I believe he
> was) and he
> said he felt that he was the only senator at that time who was familiar
> with what was going on in cyberspace (and like him or not, he was
> ahead of
> most of congress in his interest in the internet-- but he didn't say he
> invented it, as far as I have heard or read... he said he FELT
> like he had
> DISCOVERED something that nobody else knew about... and back in the late
> 80s, that may have been true, given how slow congress was to adapt to new
> technologies...)  But for our Republican friends on the list, the same
> habit of misquotes and pseudo-quotes can be said about statements
> attributed to Bush the daddy and Bush the son, Ronald Reagan, and
> numerous
> others.   Sloppy journalism is not just a Democratic complaint.  I really
> recommend checking www.snopes.com to see the urban legends about various
> famous people...