July 20, 2007

"What we have here is a case of a lazy reporter being burned by a fellow Democrat who told her, probably as a lark, that he was a Republican..."

Lawyer blatantly fools journalist into featuring him in her article, and she can't back down. The anecdote was so perfect. Just the hook she needed wanted for her article on the Democratic presidential candidates addressing a group of trial lawyers.

Here, the journalist, Jennifer Hunter, fights back, complaining about being "harassed" by "irate Republicans":
The grumbling arose partially because my editor took a small part of my story and made it into a headline: "GOP lawyer sold on Dems." Reporters don't write headlines, editors do. And they want to write something catchy so readers will read the darned story.

The story was not about the GOP lawyer
; it was about the speeches five Democratic presidential candidates gave to a convention of trial lawyers...

The final kicker for all you Republicans who read my column with a magnifying glass is...
Boldface added. The article is 17 short paragraphs. The first 4 paragraphs and the last 2 paragraphs are devoted to the supposedly "staunch Republican," Jim Ronca. How is he "a small part" of the story that you'd need "a magnifying glass" to find? It was more than a third of the article.

It's like "fake but accurate." Even if Ronca wasn't a staunch Republican who'd fallen out of love with Republican politicians, he stood for all those other staunch Republicans who've fallen out of love with Republican politicians, and Hunter needed to quote someone like that to frame her story about the various candidate speeches so she could to produce a conventionally lame mainstream piece about candidate speeches, so why is everyone making such a big deal about it? My critics are all... grrrrrr..... staunch Republicans!!!!

24 comments:

Simon said...

The eye-popping aspect of her complaint about "Republicans who read my column with a magnifying glass" is that here you've got a journalist complaining that people actually read their work. Is she really asking people not to look too closely at what she writes? That's journalistic integrity for you.

Roger said...

Ahh--Ms Hunt is in the running for Mary Mape's old producer job on 60 minutes! Clearly "journalistic integrity" is an oxymoron.

Jacques Cuze said...

Aren't party rolls considered public records? What I see from your links, yes, I even read the powerline one, is that no one, the reporter included actually looked to see what Ronca is registered as.

So no one, from Powerline to the reporter still actually knows what Ronca is registered as.

I give you that he donates to Democrats more than Republicans, but no one has analyzed which races or why that might be.

Pretty shoddy research, reporting and blogging.

But I came here to ask if you are one of the elite 19%?

http://thinkprogress.org/2007/07/19/19-percent-2/

Fen said...

"Hi Rush. I'm a life-long conservative, but I'm so mad at Bush for ignoring Kyoto and the ICC that I'm voting for Kerry this time"

Roger said...

What party people register in is probably a pretty poor marker of whether they are democrats or republicans. As actual votes are secret monetary support is probably the best indicator of one's sympathies.

Anthony said...

I find the placement of this post and the Truther one pretty much sums things up.

Simon said...

A comment above, which I suspect may shortly be deleted, complained that no one, the reporter included, looked to see what Ronca is registered as - questions, indeed, how anyone, from Powerline to the reporter can knows which party Ronca is registered for.

Well, be that as it may, one certainly can look up his campaign contributions, and they do not paint a picture of a "staunch Republican."

The Drill SGT said...

The other "elephant in the room" missing from the story was that the convention was for the Trial Lawyers who are huge democratic party players and at the top of their agenda is killing tort reform. Reform is a GOP issue and opposed by democrats which is why the other missing angle was that all the speakers were Dem candidates and the DNC chairman.

You can go to any Union convention and have a much higher likely chance of finding a GOP voter than at a trial lawyer convention.

My god, the guy was a state tral lawyer assoc president.

Joe said...

The root of this are the weird assumptions that journalists are a) smarter than the average person, b) more capable of intelligent analysis than the average person and c) objective.

Jacques Cuze said...

I do not know what a staunch republican is, although I am glad we all agree that republicans are bleeding the country and it would be nice if they were staunched.

But I also do not know if it is a requirement that Ronca be a staunch Republican, or just a republican.

Simon, I am shocked, shocked, that a fine Wikipedia editor such as yourself would draw a conclusion from his donation records without going to a primary source like the voter rolls.

I am also not sure how what I posted above should be called a complaint. Perhaps with your famous Wikipedia adherence to a NPOV, you can tell me how what I wrote is a complaint so much as a critique.

Mike said...

Journalists: Fish in a barrel.

mcg said...

But I also do not know if it is a requirement that Ronca be a staunch Republican, or just a republican.

It most certainly is the former. After all, in the lead graph she called Jim Ronca a "staunch Republican." This was not a quoted self-description---it was the description she chose for the lead in her story.

rcocean said...

Once again some are trying to cloud the issue and play dumb.

Oh, what does "staunch Republican" mean? How can we comment without doing more research? Oh, its so cloudy and confusing and grey!

Actions speak louder than words. The man gave $2000 to Kerry in 2006. He gave $250 to Casey in 2000. Since 1990 he's never given anything to ANY Republican in a general election. The only Republican he gave money to since 1990 was Spector - a liberal Republican - who is AGAINST tort reform. Oh, and he can $250 Alphose D. back in 1997.

So he's not a "Staunch" Republican. He's not a conservative. He's not even a "Republican" since he gives all his money in general elections to Democrats.

Cliche - If it walks like a Duck...

Revenant said...

Simon, I am shocked, shocked, that a fine Wikipedia editor such as yourself would draw a conclusion from his donation records without going to a primary source like the voter rolls.

The primary sources for the claim that he is or is not a staunch Republican are those which indicate how strongly he supports various political parties. That would be the donation records -- not the registration records. A person who donates most of his money to Democrats, and has since long before Bush entered office, is not a "staunch Republican", no matter what he has registered as.

So even in the unlikely event that a man who has supported Democrats over Republicans in almost every election is still registering as a Republican, he certainly isn't a "staunch Republican" -- and there is certainly nothing newsworthy about his supporting yet another Democrat over yet another Republican.

In case all that was too complicated for you to grasp: the claim the reporter presented has been proven to be false. Further investigation into just how absurdly false it was is not necessary.

Jeff said...

I find the Republican's criticism of the journalist pretty whiney. I agree the who "staunch republican" aspect of it skews the article, but how many facts in a story can you check? No jornalist would even complete one article a week if they were forced to check every fact. Sometimes you have to take people at their word. If I were to go through an article and pick out the most important facts to check, it would not be whether someone was really a Republican. When you are a journalist you are going to screw up stuff on occasion. It's a pretty difficult field to be perfect in. Granted she should have said, "I messed up, I'm sorry andI learned my lesson." But that is hard to do after getting a ton of hate mail. And people can be pretty dang nasty, though they rarely seem to get prosecuted, no matter how bad their threats are. I would like to see all the critics' jobs scrutinized like that to see how perfect they got things, and then see how they liked being raked over the coals. People, no matter what political affiliation, need to get over themselves.

mcg said...

I find the Republican's criticism of the journalist pretty whiney. I agree the who "staunch republican" aspect of it skews the article, but how many facts in a story can you check?

Well, I'll settle for the key facts presented in the first sentence of the first parargraph of the story.

Revenant said...

I agree the who "staunch republican" aspect of it skews the article, but how many facts in a story can you check?

I don't know, but if you're planning to check ANY of them it might be a good idea to start with the ones supporting your major points.

Since both the title and a third of the text centered around the "Republicans are turning against Bush" meme, checking to see that the token "staunch Republican" you spoke to actually is one would be the obvious first step.

Pogo said...

Re: "but how many facts in a story can you check? No jornalist would even complete one article a week if they were forced to check every fact."

That's just BS. Anyone can fact-check in a few minutes the most salient parts of any story. Not doing so is laziness and suggests a greater concern for the correct narrative than the facts.

And that is no longer journalism at all.

Jacques Cuze said...

The primary sources for the claim that he is or is not a staunch Republican are those which indicate how strongly he supports various political parties.

Exactly! By that standard I welcome Ann Althouse and Joe Lieberman to the Republican Parties.

Couldn't have said that any better myself, thank you Revenant.

Simon said...

Jeff, when the central thesis of your story rests on a fact that can be checked online in under a minute, and you don't bother to check that fact, you are a lazy journalist at best. The correct response - as you know although apparently this hackette doesn't - is to say "oops, I screwed up."

Revenant said...

Exactly! By that standard I welcome Ann Althouse and Joe Lieberman to the Republican Parties.

If it wasn't for the fact that neither Ann nor Joe Lieberman support the Republican Party that might almost start to be a good point.

It is pretty obvious that you define "staunch Republican" as anyone who ever agrees with Republicans on anything for any reason -- hence your placement of Ann and Joe into that category. Well, that's delusional, and hence beneath my notice. You've wasted enough of my time for now.

Fred said...

O'Doyle Rules!!!

SGT Ted said...

It is truly amazing how much the leftrolls here will tie themselves in knots to deny the obvious.

Jeff said...

Simon-

Saying you can check a fact in one minute online is pretty disingenuous. Nothing short of a very simple Google search can happen that fast, even when my browser is open and I'm already on the site. I'd like someone to check all the facts in that story and tell me how long it took. People are notoriously bad at returning phone calls. And the internet is only reliable in certain cases (and yes, a list of donations would probably be one of those cases). Unfortunately, this being the internet, I wouldn't believe anybody anyway. I still stand by my original post, including the part that almost everyone conveniently ignored that said the author should have admitted she screwed up.