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Monday, February 2, 2009
AIM Intern Rage Watch
Topic: Accuracy in Media

You how just pointing out a simple fact will set some people off? Aaron Saltzman ("an intern at the American Journalism Center, a training program run by Accuracy in Media and Accuracy in Academia") is the set-offee in a Jan. 29 Accuracy in Media blog post.

Saltzman declares that a Los Angeles Times writer, Janet Hook, is "using literary spin to bolster her personal political message" by noting that the House vote on the stiumulus package "passed on a strict party-line vote" and that President Obama "had worked hard to gain bipartisan support" for the package. Let the intern explosion begin:

So poor President Obama, despite valiant efforts to convince Republicans to abandon the fiscal policies that brought an extraordinarily low 4% unemployment rate through the Bush-43 years, was unable to re-educate a single member of the House minority. What a bummer. 

Saltzman also seems to forget that those same policies have resulted in the current economic situation. Nevertheless, he goes on to personally attack the reporter:

Janet Hook is entitled to her opinions. She can talk about her assessment of HR 1 all she wants with her friends, her family, on a blog, etc. If she was an editorialist, or a columnist, or worked for an analytical magazine like Newsweek or Time she would have every right to preach away about her partisan perceptions of Republican ignorance and the Democrat godliness.

But she’s not an editorialist. She is not writing to her friends and family, or on a blog. And she does not work for Newsweek, Time, or any similar publication. She is a reporter—a reporter for the second largest, and fourth most widely distributed newspaper in the country. She has a responsibility to give an objective report—not assessment or analysis—of the facts as they happened. It is not in her job description to flower up her phrasing with buzzwords or strategic phrasing, nor should it ever be.

Hook is an irresponsible reporter, and should be called out early and often for her transgressions. 

Remember, this is all because Hook told the truth -- that the House stimulus package split down party lines, and Obama tried to recruit Republicans to vote for it.

Saltzman concludes by urging readers to send an email to Hook "and tell her to stop the spin." How about sending an email to Saltzman and tell him to cut back on the caffeine and temper his right-wing rage?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:02 AM EST

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