Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sharron Angle and columnist say Harry Reid pressured paper to change headline

Via the Daily Caller:

In a fundraising email to supporters, Nevada GOP Sharron Angle claims that In the hours after the only face-to-face debate with Nevada’s Harry Reid, the Las Vegas Sun apparently changed the headline on a column that said she’d beaten him.

“Right after Reid’s debate defeat he went to visit the liberal Las Vegas Sun newspaper. they’ve previously endorsed him and have been largely serving as the mouthpiece of the Reid campaign for well over a year. The night of the debate they had an article headlined ‘Jon Ralston notes how Reid lost the debate to Angle.’ After the meeting with Reid, however, the Sun changed it’s headline to ‘Thoughts on the Reid-Angle debate’ ” says the email.

The story is apparently confirmed by a rival newspaper.

If only for the entertainment value, you gotta find amusement with the Las Vegas Sun and Jon Ralston's manipulation of the news to protect and advance the sputtering Sen. Harry Reid campaign.

Case in point: by most accounts Sen. Reid lost his debate with Sharron Angle on Thursday. In fact, on Friday Ralston wrote in the Sun: "Let’s get the easy part out of the way first: Sharron Angle won The Big Debate."

That lead appeared under this headline: "Jon Ralston notes how Reid lost the debate to Angle."

Well, that apparently didn't sit too well with the Reid campaign. So, the Sun interviewed Reid for a Saturday story that might as well been a Reid campaign press release for all the unchallenged assertions made by Reid. For example, Reid said that no journalist or pundit he was aware of thought Angle won the debate. That, by any measure, is not a credible statement and should have been challenged by the reporter given the Sun headline and column above.

But here's the kicker that sends the Sun's coverage of Reid to journalism ethics hell.

The Sun changed the headline after publication.

In the newspaper and online, the headline first proclaimed "Reid lost the debate to Angle". It was subsequently revised to "Thoughts on the Reid-Angle debate".

Sure enough, here are the first three results from Google using the terms Angle, Reid, Debate, “Las Vegas Sun” :


But here’s the most recent version of the LVSun’s web page on the debate:



Well, isn’t that interesting.

It looks like we have yet another fine, fine example of journalistic ethics by major daily newspapers.  Is there any wonder why people are increasingly turning to the Internet and outlets like Fox News for political coverage?  There was a time when the press could be relied upon to not take sides and just provide the facts.  Those days are apparently long gone at places like the New York Times, the Washington Post and USA Today.  And not surprisingly, the companies owning those once venerable publications are sucking wind like an open chest wound.  They’re obviously gone at the Las Vegas Sun, too.

What fine company the Sun finds itself in.