Scott Tibbs
Printed in the Evansville Courier, 09-18-2002.

Back to Short Writings.

The Evansville Courier's "gotcha" campaign against John Hostettler

To the Editor:

Paul McAuliffe's whining column on September 15th illustrates why Congressman John Hostettler is right in refusing to talk to the Evansville Courier. The paper's coverage of Hostettler has ceased to be an unbiased journalistic endeavor to cover the area's Congressman, but has instead deteriorated into a "gotcha" campaign. There isn't anything wrong with agenda-driven journalism, so long as those writing are honest about their motivations. That is not the case here.

The decision to go public about the meeting was clearly a political stunt orchestrated to damage Hostettler leading up to an election where he is strongly favored. How else would you explain the fact that the activists met with representatives of Brian Hartke's campaign before going to the press? And since when is meeting with constituents breaking news four months later, coincidentally closer to the election? Surely the Courier editors are intelligent enough to see this tempest in a teapot for what it is.

McAuliffe asserts Hostettler is spending too much time defending himself on this matter while the Courier conducts a smear campaign against him. Does this seem hypocritical to you?

Hostettler was clear in the meeting that he was not insinuating that any of the breast cancer survivors he met with had past abortions. He was simply bringing up a link that has been exposed in multiple studies, that abortions can place women into a higher risk category for cancer. However, these activists didn't want to discuss this link.

As a cancer survivor myself, I know that prevention is far preferable to treatment Why wouldn't people concerned about eradicating cancer be concerned about possible risk factors for it? It wasn't John Hostettler who was injecting abortion politics into that meeting in April, it was the activists he met with.