A Study in Contrasts

Oh, THAT Liberal media.

Draw your own conclusions.

Editor and Publisher reports on the firing of 2 newspaper reporters in Kalamazoo, Michigan:

[R]eporter Craig McCool and photographer Mairin Chapman of The Kalamazoo (Mich.) Gazette went to a local party to research a series on drinking among young adults, they saw nothing wrong with partaking of the libations themselves.

But editors did. The result: The two were dismissed, and the paper ran an editor’s note this weekend explaining the incident.

“Their conduct is unacceptable and violates the standards that we uphold every day as journalists,” Editor Rebecca Pierce said in the note, published Saturday. “We don’t condone it and we can’t ignore it.”

Pierce, who could not be reached for comment Monday, seemed to indicate that the pair’s transgression took on more severity because it involved their reporting on how heavy alcohol consumption can be dangerous. “It’s a sad statement to our readers that our behavior in any way would obscure this serious and pervasive problem in our community,” the editor added in the note.

In Britain there’s an election on, and The Sunday Times reports that the BBC is busily defending having supplied hecklers with microphones. This was noticed because the BBC camera crew were focused on the hecklers rather than the speech by Conservative party leader Michael Howard:

[Th]e party discovered three people in the crowd had been equipped with radio microphones to record the meeting. He [Guy Black, the party’s director of communications] said they had been “recruited by the corporation [BBC]” to heckle Howard.

The three had been provided with the equipment by a BBC crew that had been admitted to the rally.

The hecklers, two men and a woman, reportedly shouted “Michael Howard is a liar”, “You can’t trust the Tories” and “You can only trust Tony Blair”.

“It was deliberately arranged to generate a false news story and dramatise coverage,” wrote Black. “I do not believe that the BBC should be in the business of creating news.”

Last night the BBC said: “This is a completely legitimate programme about the history and art of political heckling. The programme observes hecklers at other parties’ campaign meetings and not just the Conservatives’.

[However,] A spokesman was unable to confirm if any meetings involving Tony Blair or Charles Kennedy had been disrupted during the election campaign, or whether they would be.

As heckling goes, this is pretty tame stuff. The BBC can do better.

My suggestion to the Beeb is this; get some Iraqi “insurgents” wired up.

You’ll do even better Pulitzer-wise than that AP photog who just happened, just happened, (hat tip, Powerline) upon a street execution of election workers in Baghdad.

If anyone complains you can point to the Kalamazoo firings. You can say it’s clear reporters who hang out with militant Muslims weren’t drinking, so what’s the problem?