Wednesday, August 23, 2006

How many ways can a incident be reported?

What?





Much has been reported, and ignored at the same time, of an incident at the Augusta County Fair last week when a volunteer from the “Democrat” booth made a rude and unacceptable comment. The comment was directed towards Rhonda Winfield who was at a booth supporting the troops and was signing her book about her son, Marine Lance Cpl. Jason Redifer who was killed in action while serving his country in Iraq last year, for fair visitors purchasing the book.

I was in attendance at the time the comment was made when the volunteer from the “Democrat” booth said “Jim Webb is more of an American patriot than this man ever was.” and placed campaign literature for “Democrat” Jim Webb on top of the book that Rhonda was holding…

This story has been told and discussed for the past week or so in the Letter to the Editor section of the NewsVirginian and numerous blogs. The interesting thing is how the story has been reported by the NewsVirginian and comments made by the editor Todd Foster… After the incident I wrote a letter to the editor describing the incident with direct quotes and sources and submitted it to the NewsVirginian. Instead of my letter being printed in the normal format it appeared next to and after a Letter to the Editor from the chairman of the Augusta County Democrat party, Tom Long describing the incident, which he was not present at and providing no direct quotes, sources, or timeline. Foster stated that he did not contact Long but Long’s letter started with: “I am writing only because Mr. Steve Kijak wrote first, attacking Augusta County Democrats. The News Virginian graciously offered an opportunity to respond.” How did Long know of my letter that had not yet been printed? Long’s letter did not provide any direct quotes or sources of information.

I wrote a follow up Letter to the Editor in response to Long’s letter but it could not be published according to Foster due to many other letters from the “Democrats” that were submitted already. http://newsvirginian.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=WNV%2FMGArticle%2FWNV_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1149190132416&path=!news!opinions One letter from a “Democrat” has been printed and that letter provides little facts or sources to what happened at the “Democrat” booth. The letter writer was also not present at the time of the comment at the Republican booth so Facts are limited here also… My response letter appeared today in the “Free for All” section of the NewsVirginian next to the “Reader photo of the week” of a hummingbird, and in a section that includes classified ads and the weather report. This response letter is no way near the “Opinion” section where Letter to the editor letters appear and are expected… Maybe next time it will be near the cooking section?

In contrast the Augusta Free Press has interviewed Rhonda Winfield on the incident for facts and has also contacted me to determine directly what happened. http://www.augustafreepress.com/stories/storyReader$40395 To this date the NewsVirginian has NOT contacted Rhonda for a description of the incident on a firsthand basis.

This post is to note the numerous way a story can be reported and the way “Facts” can be determined and\or ignored. Foster of the NewsVirginian stated that he never “Interviewed” Tichenor but called him just to determine that he was the person who made the comment. But in the NewsVirginian account of the incident the NewsVirginian reported:“Tichenor says he left immediately, but Republicans say he disrespected the mother of fallen Marine Jason Redifer, a Stuarts Draft native who was killed in Iraq. Redifer’s mother, Rhonda Winfield, was at the Republican booth signing copies of her new book, which is about her son. Tichenor allegedly pointed to the book cover and said “that man” [Redifer] wasn’t the hero that Webb was. Webb was Navy secretary under President Reagan and crossed party lines to run against Allen.”
Foster stated that he only determined that Tichenor was the person involved. But here he reports that “Tichenor says he left immediately”. The NewsVirginian also provided more information about Tichenor in their report stating: “Local Republicans ought to understand, too, that Tichenor will be 88 years old on Sept. 1. The retired DuPont chief chemist is a Ph.D. and Rhodes Scholar. On Thursday night, he was clearly confused.” Pretty good amount of information provided by Foster just asking if Tichenor was the person who made the comment as stated in the editor notes that appeared in todays paper following my response: “Editor’s response: No one from the Democratic side was interviewed. Mr. Tichenor was asked to confirm whether he was the volunteer in question.”


Many newspapers respond by claiming that there is no “bias” in the mainstream media and it is just a ploy used by the evil Republicans when the story is not reported their way. I am not claiming “Bias” in the way the NewsVirginian reported this story but I am questioning the tactics and procedures used by the editor to present the facts and the newspapers “Opinion” as it appeared on their opinion page…

Have to go now and cancel my subscription to the NewsVirginian. A subscription that I started and signed up for on the first day of the Augusta County Fair at the NewsVirginian booth…


The Augusta Free Press: http://www.augustafreepress.com/
The NewsVirginian Opinion page:
http://newsvirginian.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=WNV/Page/WNV_SectionFront&c=Page&cid=1059969228147

The United Conservatives Blog: http://unitedconservatives.blogspot.com/2006/08/news-virginian-another-example-of.html

SwacGirl Blog: http://swacgirl.blogspot.com/2006/08/todd-foster-gets-last-word.html

18 comments:

Mike M. said...

Because the newspaper did not interview you or Winfield that means that you did not attack the people at the democratic booth?
I was not there that night but I did see the arrogance of the republican booth. I even heard it described as a neighbor whose decorations were so over-done they were gaudy, trashy, and totally repulsive? To go after a volunteer who was only passing out his candidates info shows that you are all so desperate and worried about losing in november.

Bubba said...

Mike M.,

I was not there either, but if you think that this is about decorations and interviews then you really need to do some research. First, it is evident that the "volunteeer" did much more than just hand out litereature. He verbaly degraded a deceased veteran and insulted a soldier and mother who both gave the ultimate sacrifice. Second, If the decorations were so "overdone, and gaudy" why would an operative from the democratic party go over to the Republican booth? It should have been obvious that it was the wrong place to go and hand out literature for the Webb campaign. Third, you would think that in a situation like this when a paper is going to do a story on what happened that the paper would interview all parties involved, especially if they are planning to mention by full name someone in the article.

The way this event was initiated combibed with other events that have occured recently makes me wonder it the Webb campaign is using a "stratagy of victimization" to make themselves look like a repressed and victimized group by initiating events that the drive-by media can spin at a high RMP. That sounds like a tactic of a party that is afraid, very afraid to run on the issues.

I have no fear for the election. The people of Virginia are not as dumb as the Webb camp thinks or the MassLeftMedia believes. The issues will decide this election and that is an area that Webb does not have a platform, or even the grounds to build a platform from.

RightsideVA said...

Mike,

The issue here is that the newspaper decided to tell this story as they "viewed" it and failed to talk to all involved. Seems now that the "Spin" machine is in high gear for now the Dems claim:

"He doesn't know what was said there. He is hard of hearing. He's 88 years old. He does not remember what was said," said Marlana Lewis, the chair of the Waynesboro Democratic Committee, speaking of Bob Tichenor" as reported in the forum section of the Augusta Free Press. The AFP has talked to both sides and has provided their readers with statements from all involved...

To make this an issue of just a volunteer passing out campaign information side steps the most important issue all together. Rhonda Winfield was sitting in front of a large sign that said "Freedom isn't free" with the name of her son Jason and the date he was killed in action serving his country. Tom Long as well as the "volunteer with a cane" at the "Democrat" booth has ignored the issue of the what was said to Rhonda about her son. They claim Tichenor did not know what, where, when, so that ignores the incident. A simple apology is all that was needed but will have little value now....

It is also interesting that many at the "Democrat" booth, including the "Volunteer with a cane" are also part of the Augusta Coalition for Peace & Justice. I have attended many of their "Rallies for Peace" that they had at the court house in Staunton. I have seen these people parade around claiming that they "support the troops" but only have negative signs about the President, the cost of the war in lives and $$$, and photos of soldiers lost in the war. When questioned how they supprt the troops they reply by "Not supporting that President".
Again I ask how that supports the troops and the "Volunteer with a cane" would always get flustered and walk off or make some rude comment about the President...

How does the coalition support the troops by parading photos of soldiers lost???

Mike M. said...

I do know the people over at the Augusta Coalition for Peace and Justice and they do support the troop's just not by backing a president that lied us into a war and people die. Tom Long did a good job at telling what happened when you attacke the volunteers at our booth. The fact is your guy is in trouble and this was your only way to divert attention away from Jim Webb who will be our next Senator!

Grievous' Dog said...

Check out the News Leader
athttp://www.newsleader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060825/NEWS01/60825001

The valley Democrats, under the leadership of Tom Long are sending out the clowns. Kid you not! These guys are dressed up in clown suits. Is this the party that wants to be head of national security?

Bubba said...

Hmmm... Wonder how many Webb supporters can fit in an old VW Bug? Maybe that will be the next campaign gimick.

RightsideVA said...

Mike

I too have come to know several from the Augusta Coalition for we have talked during their protests down town. At first they claimed it was nothing but "Blood for Oil" but that was dropped after they found no traction from that. In fact if went to war only for oil why did we give it all back to Kuwait after we kicked Hussein out? And why didn't we set up numerous military bases in Kuwait to take ove Hussein when we were there? Jim Webb claims that there is no exit plan in Iraq because Bush does not want out of Iraq. He claims that is why we are building 4 bases there now. Consolodating troops and equipment in central locations is the best way to provide security and will make it easier to turn over to the Iraq Government when they are ready...

In fact looking at the photo in the newsleader of the protestors downtown Staunton today I believe I know the legs of the Bannana on the left. I believe that is one of the anti-war people from the coalition that was protesting before the war and claimed that America and President Bush had killed more then 1.7 million Iraqi people, mostly children, because of our sanctions while they were shooting at our planes enforcing the No-fly zone. The truth there was that Hussein was making $$$Millions$$$ by selling "Oil for food" but kept the money and aid from the people and that is why the 1.7 million died, by the hands of their dictator and his sons. U.N. Koffi made out pretty well also in the deal. Lost traction there too so you never hear that argument anymore from the anti-war people.

Now Tom Long, as leader of the Augusta County Democrat Party has arranged A number of Democrats to non-confrontationally, pass out Webb literature when Senator Allen was to walk Beverley street. All that showed up was a Monkey & a Bannana...

More traction missed?

RightsideVA said...

Dog,
The NewsVirginian had an article this morning on the Staunton incident at:

http://newsvirginian.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=WNV/MGArticle/WNV_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1149190212701&path=

Seems that the "Democrats" only wanted to talk issues with the Senator as he was walking the city on Beverley street. Somehow by showing up in a Monkey & Bannana suits they thought they would attract some attention and political discussion time. Instead the photo shows whats going on Downtown Staunton, had to be a coffee shop near somewhere.

Seems Tom Long did have his hands in this thing and the Augutsa County Democrat Party was involved.
His #2 guy is Lee Godfrey who was quoted in the NewsVirginian "Lee Godfrey, one of the demonstrators, said the group wanted Allen to know their thoughts about “energy policy, big oil and health care.”
Godfrey is heading up their headquarters project and is "Active" in many of their events. Just not sure if he was the Monkey or the Bannana???

Godfrey says he wanted to talk to the Senator about "energy policy, big oil and health care." Good. Their candidate Webb is never talking issues and somebody needs to do it from their party.

Just need to dress properly to get a chance to talk to a Senator...
Maybe something less "Hairy" then a monkey suit....

grievous' dog said...

Rightside,

You said, "I believe I know the legs of the Banana on the left."

I think the banana man was Tom Long himself. He probably skipped school by calling in sick, dressed up like a banana, and joined the freak show. How do I know? Yellow is the color cowards, and Tom Long is a "cut and run" anti-war sell out America coward. Yep, my vote is Tom Long in the banana suit.

Anonymous said...

Dog,

maybe it was Tom Long in the suit but Allen never showed up to talk to the people there. He went on instead to the Hershey plant in Stuarts draft instead. Is he afraid now to come to Staunton and talk issues?

grievous' dog said...

Anonymous,

As I posted on AFP to Zen,

Zen said that "But if this was such a 'freak show' then why didn't Allen go there and point this out?"

Why would Allen or any other normal person hangout with a bunch of “Freaks.” Zen, I am starting to think that you must also engage in this type of behavior and are one of those activists that dress up in banana suits and parade around town. You never answered my original question; do you think dressing-up as a monkey is a proper way of engaging in political dialog?

So Anonymous, do you think dressing-up as a monkey is a proper way of engaging in political dialog?

Anonymous said...

anonymous said Would you not as a candidate want to see real working people in Stuarts Draft than someone in Staunton hideing in a monkey suit. It sure don't take brains to sort this one out.

Grievous' Dog said...

Anonymous,

Maybe he visited with Rhonda Winfield who lost her son in Iraq.

Go and read the story at
http://swacgirl.blogspot.com/

You Dem's just don't get it. Like little children seeking attention you dress up like circus freaks.
Check out my blog for a picture of your friends.

Anonymous said...

What happened to George Allen? Seems he cut and run when a handfull of protestors were spotted in downtown Staunton. I can't believe Allen... he wants to use the Senate to step into the White House but he's too timid to meet and greet voters and protestors on Beverley St?

But, if Long cut and run from school to dress up as a banana or monkey he should be fired.... somebody should check that out.

RightsideVA said...

Anonymous,

Actually it was the right thing to do if you think about it. Why justify a bunch of disgruntled, mad at the world, self-perceived Victims, move-on-er's, who dress up as cartoon characters? Can only imagine the video media playing that footage for weeks. Instead the Senator met with people on lunch at a local spot. The "Victims" here are the people that were gathered to hear the Senator speak and missed out. Now we both know that the Monkey\Bannana were not going to listen but do a show & dance and interupt the Senator just like the guy did at the Holiday Inn...

Anonymous said...

Allen dodged Viet Nam, what makes anyone think he wouldn't dodge having to face constituents with tough questions? Allen should be wearing yellow himself. Oh that's right, he doesn't have to, he's already yellow.

SWAC Girl said...

George Allen was too young for Vietnam. Get your facts straight.

RightsideVA said...

Just another fact getting in the way. Thought George Allen's mother would have signed him up for Viet-nam when he was in grade school..

The sad thing is that some people will not even think to believe that he was too young, they only remember the attack...