We are the 99%

January 22, 2010

More Lousy Reading At The Trib

Proving, yet again, that they're very good at ignoring reality when it gets in the way of their politics, the good folks at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review take a swipe at Senator Arlen Specter.

Not that I am defending the Senator, just pointing out that the people who make a living writing for a newspaper should be better at reading the news.

From the Whispers column:
Arlen Specter apparently is feeling cranky these days.

And, apparently, badly in need of a drink.

The Pennsylvania senator seems to be feeling some pressure from U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak, of Delaware County, who is attempting to unseat Specter in the Democrat primary. At least that's the impression we got from reading a lengthy profile of Specter in The Philadelphia Inquirer last week.

The story's author recounted Specter's increasing irritation with a waiter as he attempted to get a gin martini with olives at a Vietnamese restaurant in Washington, D.C.

"Bartender not here tonight," the waiter said. "No mixed drinks -- beer, wine only."

Specter asked to see a manager, only to have the waiter shake his head.

"Well, how about straight gin on ice? Can you do that?" Specter asked.

When the young man appeared confused, the exasperated senator repeated, "Straight gin."

After the waiter finally ambled off to get the drink, Specter remarked, "It's ridiculous not having a bartender. I guess I'll have to go home and make my own martinis."

The apparent urgency with which the senator wanted his drink has us concerned and pondering this question: Couldn't he have settled for a 7-Up?
NOW let's take a look at that profile in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Everything from "Bartender not here tonight." to "...make my own martinis" is from the profile. Simple cut and paste job - nothing wrong with that.

Do you know what the very next paragraph is in that profile? Here, I'll cut and paste it for you:
On this evening last spring, Specter, 79, was under siege. Not long before, he had been one of three Republican senators whose votes had enacted President Obama's $787 billion economic stimulus, and the blowback was fierce.
So it was last spring when Specter was still a Republican? But look again at the Trib's take on this:
The Pennsylvania senator seems to be feeling some pressure from U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak, of Delaware County, who is attempting to unseat Specter in the Democrat (sic) primary.
Hmm. Shouldn't they already know that Representative Sestak didn't officially announce he was running against Senator Specter until August 4 of last year - months after this martini story reportedly took place? And shouldn't they already know that, according to the very story they quote, Specter was "under siege" for his vote against the GOP last spring? Didn't have anything to do with Representative Sestak's challenge.

Isn't it, at the very least, misleading to write it in any other way than one that reflects reality? Isn't it, well, dishonest to do otherwise?

More "news" from our friends at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

For the record, I am not defending Senator Specter. But fair's fair and a lie's a lie. Something we can expect more of from the Trib.

1 comment:

Ol' Froth said...

Specter also has a reputation for being cross with staff...not surprising if the crankiness extends to service personell.