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Letter to the Public Editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution ^ | 9/18/04 | The Blind Pig

Posted on 09/18/2004 4:53:07 AM PDT by TheBlindPig

The chief apologist for the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, Public Editor Mike King, issues his monthly denial of liberal bias at his newspaper. I'm not sure of the rules of quoting a newspaper at Free Republic, so click on the link above to read the article. (Also see my blog post here).

The part that caught my eye was the section on the AJC's coverage of memogate. It seems to me that the AJC is reluctant to publish any rebuttal from solid sources, such as Col Staudt, about if President Bush recived preferrential treatment in joining the Texas Air National Guard.

I wrote an email to Mr. King this morning about this topic (Warning, I had not had my second cup of coffee yet, so typos abound):

Mr. King:

I’ll let you decide if the AJC practices bias or if it is simply incompetent.

For example, when the Swift Boat stuff was raging, the AJC published a column by William Rood ( where basically agreed with Kerry’s version of one of the events brought up by the SBVTs.

On the other hand, the AJC published an article including accusations by Ben Barnes ( accusing President Bush of getting special treatment to get into the National Guard.

Two high-ranking former Texas Air National Guardsman have spoken up in the last week answering questions about if Bush received special treatment. The first is Col. Earl Lively (Ret), the former Director of Operations of the Texas Air National Guard. Col. Lively, in an interview from this week, was asked if Bush jumped in front of several applicants to get a pilot’s slot with the Guard.

Col. Lively answered: “…I was the head of Operations. I was Director of Operations and I oversaw and inspected all of the units in Texas. Flew with them. And the, there was no waiting list for this. See, this is often confused with another thing. Which was a waiting list to simply enlist in the Guard and do your service their rather than in the regular military. And there were lots of people on those waiting lists. But those people weren't qualified to go to pilot training school.”

The second was one of the people quoted in the fake 60 minutes memo, Col. Walter Staudt, interviewed yesterday by ABC News. (

In the interview, “Staudt said he never tried to influence Killian or other Guardsmen, and added that he never came under any pressure himself to accept Bush. "No one called me about taking George Bush into the Air National Guard," he said. "It was my decision. I swore him in. I never heard anything from anybody."

One naturally wonders why the AJC does publish rebuttal stories when they favor John Kerry, but does not publish rebuttal stories when they favor President Bush.

More Memo Questions

The first “media blogger on the Internet” who questioned the authenticity of the documents was someone called “Buckhead” who posted on the Internet site The real name of the person is Harry MacDougald, and he is an Atlanta attorney. One would assume, based on his user name, that “Buckhead” either lives or works in –wait for it- Buckhead. Does the AJC ever plan on trying the interview the person who started the firestorm over the memos? Since he is an Atlanta, one would think the AJC might have some interest in the story.

Next, an one of the experts quoted on other places on the Internet is Farrell C. Shiver, with Shiver & Nelson Document Investigation Laboratory based in Woodstock, GA. Mr. Shiver is certified by the American Board of Forensic Document Examiners and is a member of American Society of Questioned Document Examiners; American Academy of Forensic Sciences Questioned Document Section; and the Southeastern Association of Forensic Document Examiners.

I realize that having a reporter drive all the way up to Woodstock to check out the accuracy of one of your stories is quite the chore. However, Mr. Shiver also has a phone. The number is 770-xxx-xxxx.

Finally, the smoking gun to many is the fact that one can type up the same words into Microsoft Word using the default settings, print the document, and then compare the new document to the CBS memos. For real bit of ol’ timey investigative journalism, go to Office Depot and buy some transparencies, and then print the new document on the transparency. Put the transparency over the matching memo and presto – an exact match. I know the AJC has at least one PC and a copy of MS Word lying around somewhere, so this would be a very easy, and cheap, bit of investigative journalism. I am sure some of the IT folks at the AJC would have been more than happy to have helped if you guy could not have figured out the what the joke of a CBS “computer expert” called the “th setting”.

But the AJC did not do any of these things. So I ask you – incompetence or bias?

TOPICS: News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: atlanta; cbs; constitution; documents; forged; journal; memogate; publiceditor; rather

1 posted on 09/18/2004 4:53:08 AM PDT by TheBlindPig
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To: TheBlindPig

Bias, with a dash of incompetence thrown in, and a lot of arrogance sprinkled on top.

I have to ask - any relation to The Blind Pig in Athens?

2 posted on 09/18/2004 4:58:07 AM PDT by EllaMinnow (Dan would RATHER lie.)
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To: TheBlindPig

It amazes me how these editors claim with a straight face that there is no bias. I caught the tail end of a show on C-span the other day with a former editor of the Boston Globe. Somebody called in complaining about the liberal bias and this guy (didn't catch his name) was absolutely convinced that the campaign coverage at the Globe has been fair and balanced. If they can't see a bias at the Boston Globe, there is something wrong with these guys.

3 posted on 09/18/2004 5:04:18 AM PDT by Tom_Busch (Vote Bush/Cheney in 2004)
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To: TheBlindPig

No one expects to see facts from the Al-Jazeera Constitution. It's the NYT of the South.

4 posted on 09/18/2004 5:11:55 AM PDT by PCRit
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To: TheBlindPig
If they can't see a bias at the Boston Globe, there is something wrong with these guys.

From where they stand on the left, they are fair and balanced. They see the far left as merely "the left" and anything to the right as extremists. In their world, they actually occupy the center of the political spectrum.

5 posted on 09/18/2004 5:16:19 AM PDT by MadPenguin (FMCDH)
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To: TheBlindPig

Superb and concise!!

I am going to steal some of it if you don't mind. I have my own version of Pravda to counter up here in westerm Massachusetts!

6 posted on 09/18/2004 5:18:38 AM PDT by SpinyNorman (John Kerry: the choice of Islamofacists, communists and socialists the world over!!)
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To: TheBlindPig

Proofread your piece before submitting it. You've got a lot of typos; our liberal friends will be all over you with lots of [sic]s in an effort to paint you as an ignorant bohunk.

7 posted on 09/18/2004 5:22:38 AM PDT by Junior (FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC)
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To: TheBlindPig

My alias comes from the saying "Even a Blind Pig finds an Acorn". I don't know of the Blind Pig in Athens.

And no, I have no complaints if anyone wants to use any part of this. I am surprised it came out halfway coherant as I wrote it soon after reading the AJC this morning at about 6am EST.

8 posted on 09/18/2004 5:23:23 AM PDT by TheBlindPig
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To: EllaMinnow
I have to ask - any relation to The Blind Pig in Athens?

Now that would be a good place for Athens area Freepers to meet one day. Especially since it is walking distance from my office.

The AJC shows it's bias everyday. I only read it so I can vent about the "Vents".

9 posted on 09/18/2004 5:23:26 AM PDT by CFW
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To: TheBlindPig
Currently we can post entire articles from AJC, so here is Mr. King's nonsense: More soundings about coverage of the campaign of 2004 . . .

The Laura Bush picture. More than two weeks after it was published, we're still getting comments about the front-page photo we used of first lady Laura Bush during the Republican National Convention.

The photo prompted dozens of readers to complain that it was an unflattering portrait of Bush and, most of the callers and e-mailers contended, it was chosen purposefully to make her look bad.

I think I've developed a pretty keen sensitivity to readers' concerns about photos, but frankly, I was stunned by the reaction.

Interestingly, the internal discussion surrounding convention coverage the night of the first lady's speech was aimed mostly at trying to match the volume and placement of stories -- on the front page and inside the main news sections -- that we had used a few weeks earlier in covering the Democratic National Convention. That's always a challenge, given that other important news can often get in the way of our best-laid plans.

So when the first lady's picture landed on the front page on the third day of the convention, we were closely tracking the kind of front-page coverage we had given the speech by Teresa Heinz Kerry a few weeks earlier.

Then the calls started. Why did we choose that picture? Why not the photo that ran on the front page of USA Today? The Marietta Daily Journal chose a much more flattering photo; why didn't we use that one?

The answer is that the photo we chose was of a much more animated Bush during a key point in her speech, when she was talking about the strength of her husband during the Sept. 11 crisis. The negative reaction it generated in some quarters speaks more to the polarization of the electorate, in my view, and the willingness by some readers to see political bias in virtually every decision made by the media when it comes to this campaign.

The Iraq war toll. The week after the Republican convention there was heavier-than-usual fighting in Iraq -- on one day. seven Marines were killed by a car bomb, and the next day the death toll among U.S. military personnel passed 1,000. Neither of those stories made the front page.

Those decisions led to criticism that crossed political and ideological lines. The majority of readers who complained felt that by not putting the stories on the front page, the newspaper was attempting to minimize damage to President Bush during a critical point in the campaign.

At least one of those stories should have made its way onto the front page. But the decision not to put either out there was the result of local news and enterprise reporting that we thought also deserved front-page attention. Not to mention a deadly hurricane -- the second of three major storms that have affected the South this season -- bearing down on Florida at the same time.

The CBS documents. Over the past week or so, as media bloggers on the Internet and mainstream news organizations have called into question the authenticity of the letter "60 Minutes II" used to question the special treatment President Bush allegedly received during his Air National Guard duty, callers and letter writers have asked why the AJC and other news organizations have not aggressively examined the veracity of CBS' reporting. Why hasn't it received the same scrutiny applied to the swift-boat veterans' campaign against Democratic candidate John Kerry's Vietnam service?

I would contend it has. The network's documents and sources -- those that have been publicly disclosed, anyway -- have been closely examined and the findings reported. The same thing happened with the swift-boat veterans. Readers can examine for themselves the credibility of both sources of information and the impact they will have on the campaign.

But the continuing fixation on these incidents from more than 30 years ago makes me ask: Who among us really believes more reporting will determine, once and for all, whether John Kerry lied about Vietnam, whether George W. Bush lied about Alabama or whether Dan Rather just flat-out lied?

October approaches and a few dozen or so major issues facing the nation have yet to get much coverage in the campaign of 2004. Readers, and voters, are still waiting.

10 posted on 09/18/2004 5:26:37 AM PDT by buzzyboop (no tags, no fuss)
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To: buzzyboop

We "right-thinkers" in Atlanta call it(Atlanta Journal & Constitution) the "Atlanta Urinal & Constipation". I think this was started by Neil Boortz after they became Cynthia McKinney backers. Not sure of the timing, though.

I got constant calls to subscribe. They have stopped since I had started to laugh constantly during their calls. Must have got on a do-not-call list there?

11 posted on 09/18/2004 6:12:58 AM PDT by Unemployed Capitalist
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To: TheBlindPig
I'm not a big reader of the AJC, but I have an old friend who has written a conservative (no really) column for them from time to time and I got the impression from her inclusion that they were at least trying to be even handed.

Is this a New York Times style of bias where they at least have an occasional Conservative voice buried in the back pages or is it more like a Reuters style of Bias where they claim that conservative voices don't exist?

12 posted on 09/18/2004 6:33:08 AM PDT by tcostell
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To: TheBlindPig


13 posted on 09/18/2004 6:46:46 AM PDT by Wings-n-Wind (The answers are out there; Wisdom is gained by asking the right questions)
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To: Unemployed Capitalist

I first saw the AJC referred to as the "Atlanta Urinal & Constipation" in an April Fool's issue of the Georgia Tech student newspaper The Technique back in the mid-70's. That particular issue was a real hoot and very politically incorrect even by 70's standards. I still have it around somewhere all yellowed and dog-eared.

14 posted on 09/18/2004 7:25:56 AM PDT by delphifalcon
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To: tcostell

The AJC has a couple of token conservative columnists. But if you look at some of my previous blog posts, you can see the AJC is anything but even handed:

To name a few.

Their national news coverage at the AJC pretty much toes the New York Times line. Unless the Times runs an article that puts conservatives in a better light - then the AJC ignores it.

15 posted on 09/18/2004 11:32:03 AM PDT by TheBlindPig
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To: Junior

I'ff freely admit without the red squigglys in Word, I am not the best at catching my typos. If that's the best the libs have, then I can take it.

16 posted on 09/18/2004 5:58:54 PM PDT by TheBlindPig
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