Thursday, May 14, 2009

Blade bias - #8 - UPDATED

UPDATED: Fellow Ohio Blogger Tom Blumer has a post about this on Newsbusters, which includes a response from the reporter the last time The Blade had a problem with identifying party affiliation.

Original post:

The Toledo Free Press is reporting the declining circulation numbers of the Toledo Blade. I cannot help but wonder if their obvious bias is part of their problem.

In this story about the indictment of an aide to former Democrat Attorney General Marc Dann, they fail to mention the Democratic Party affiliation...but they seem to think the party affiliation of the prosecuting attorney is relevant.

"COLUMBUS - Anthony Gutierrez, the man at the center of a sexual harassment scandal that helped drive former Attorney General Marc Dann from office, faces theft and fraud charges for allegedly using his ties with his long-time friend to benefit himself financially.

Franklin Country (sic) Prosecutor Ron O'Brien Thursday announced a 10-count indictment -- six felonies and four first-degree misdemeanors -- against Mr. Gutierrez one year to the day after Mr. Dann left office just 16 months into his term.
Mr. O'Brien, a Republican, said the timing was not scheduled to coincide with the anniversary."

The first - and only mention - of the political affiliation of the disgraced Dann is this sentence - in the very last paragraph of the story - that really doesn't call him a Democrat:

"Mr. Dann resigned last year under pressure from Republicans and fellow Democrats alike in the wake of the harassment scandal."

They never identify Gutierrez as a Democrat.

So why is the political affiliation of the county prosecutor relevant or even needed in the story? And why would you mention that in the second paragraph yet never mention the political party of the indicted individual? Further, why would you wait until the 13th and final paragraph to only 'imply' the political party of Dann?

Bias is the only answer. And it's rampant when it comes to these types of stories in The Blade.

3 comments:

Hooda Thunkit said...

And, although I read the blade, I often refer to it in/with less than flattering names when I write about it.

Admittedly, it is a bit of passive-aggressive lashing out on my part.

Chris said...

It would seem you read The Blade because of its bias

Maggie Thurber said...

No, Chris, you are wrong. And shame on you for assuming any motivations on my part.

:)

I pay attention to Blade stories and often link to them because they have information and comments from people that I don't.

They are a newspaper and are supposed to report the news, not manipulate it. I point out when they do things that I don't believe are appropriate given their own claims of who they are and the role they purport to have in 'reporting' the news.

And I make sure to emphasize these things so that others can see exactly what is going on.

If their bias was toward Republicans and against Democrats, I'd be pointing out the same problems, which is more than I can say for some on the other side of the political aisle than me.

It's the principle of the thing - not the politics. News reporters, editors and publishers should strive for neutrality in the news portion of their publications and keep the opinions on the editorial pages where they belong.

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