Monday, July 17, 2006

A lack of journalistic integrity at the Herald-Times

Well, the Herald-Times has done it again. H-T editor Bob Zaltsberg broke his own standards by printing a letter smearing U.S. Representative Mike Sodrel. It is clear that the H-T has a lot higher standard for claims made by the Left against conservatives than for charges made the other way around. A few examples:

Let's not forget that the H-T published an editorial by Mike Leonard distorting John Hostettler's voting record in a partisan attack on Mike Sodrel. The Herald-Times should be ashamed of itself.

----Original Message Follows----
From: Scott Tibbs <>
Subject: A terrible lack of judgment
Date: Sat, 15 Jul 2006 17:02:05 -0700 (PDT)

Mr. Zaltsberg:

I was very disappointed with your decision to run the letter to the editor by Karen Green Stone this past Friday. Without the benefit of one single fact, one shred of evidence, or the slightest hint of proof, Stone says it is "easy to imagine" that Mike Sodrel, a Christian, has "used the name of Jesus many times in his life, and not necessarily in the good way".

Printing Stone's letter violates more than one stated policy you have personally implemented and enforced on the letters page. First, you have written on many occasions that claims made against candidates (and there should be no legitimate doubt in anyone's mind that Stone was making a claim) during an election season must be verified before they will be printed in your newspaper. Second, there have been occasions where you have edited and/or delayed letters to the editor outside of an election season because of claims made in the letter about people who were not candidates for elective office.

Stone's letter should never have been printed, because it made a completely unverified negative claim about Congressman Sodrel, attacking his character. The contest between Baron Hill and Congressman Sodrel will be very close, and the people of Bloomington, Monroe County and Indiana's Ninth District deserve better than for the Herald-Times to be used as a bullhorn for borderline libelous personal attacks by supporters of Baron Hill.