Wednesday, October 8, 2008

McClatchy bureau chief says McClatchy doesn't need to report both sides fairly

Giving fresh evidence to critics who claim McClatchy favors the candidacy of Barack Obama, McClatchy's Washington bureau chief said in a speech to journalists Tuesday that McClatchy does not need to give both sides of a political debate. Walcott, after being presented the I.F. Stone Award, said this:
"If you quote Dietrich Bonhoeffer or Winston Churchill, in other words, must you then give equal time and credence to Hitler and Joseph Goebbels? If you write an article that's critical of John McCain, are you then obligated to devote an identical number of words to criticism of Barack Obama, and vice versa?"

Uhm, Hitler and Goebbels aren't running 2008. John McCain is running against Barack Obama. Does Walcott think McCain compares to Hitler? I'm guessing he sees McCain as deserving Hitler-like treatment but I'd be happy to see evidence I'm wrong. (And what about Walcott's line about "an equal number of words" -- nobody has asked for such a thing.) But Americans do expect journalists to report fairly and accurately, an important point Walcott ignores.

It is clear McClatchy is not giving fair coverage to McCain and Palin. I noted several times last week that after the VP debate, McClatchy announced their fact checkers had found nine Palin misstatements but just one Biden misstatement. This seemed odd, because McClatchy bragged about their large team of fact-checkers:
William Douglas, Hannah Allam, Jonathan S. Landay, Renee Schoof, Warren P. Strobel, John Walcott, Nancy A. Youssef and the staff of the Anchorage Daily News.

You'd think with such a large team, they'd notice some of the Biden gaffes/fibs.

Other outlets didn't have trouble noting Biden's fibs and gaffes:

Investors Business Daily documented nine Biden fibs/misstatements.
The New York Post found more Biden fibs/misstatements.
Karl Rove found ten.
Ace has fourteen.
The McCain campaign lists fourteen.

Now you know why McClatchy's fact-check team only reported one Biden gaffe/fib -- according to Walcott, McClatchy doesn't need to report both sides fairly.

Meet John Walcott, the guy in charge of McClatchy's large team of investigators that found just one Biden gaffe in the VP debate
McClatchy's crack team of anti-Palin investigators misses a major Biden misstatement
McClatchy lists the entire team they have assembled to bash Palin

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