Friday, March 31, 2006

Whose coverage would you trust?

In articles about the immigration news conference by House conservatives in Washington yesterday, there is a comment by Virgil Goode being angry about recent demonstrations across the country in which the people protesting are waving Mexican flags. While looking at a few articles online, I found the following quote by Fox News:

Referring to a wave of demonstrations in recent weeks, Rep. Virgil Goode of Virginia said, "I say if you are here illegally and want to fly the Mexican flag, go to Mexico and wave the American flag."

I thought to myself, “I wonder if he knows how stupid that really sounded.” But, as I continued to look, I found this quote in a Richmond Times-Dispatch (RTD) online article:

"I say if you are here illegally, and you want to fly the Mexican flag, go to Mexico to fly the Mexican flag!"

While I felt better about his ability to speak in public and questioned the authenticity of the Fox News report, I continued to search. A second RTD article quotes it the same way as their first article. But an ABC News article also has Virgil telling them to wave the American flag, as does Yahoo news, CNN and every other instance of this quote I found on the Internet.

It seems that every news outlet that used the Associated Press version has the first quote listed, while the RTD’s own Washington correspondent Peter Hardin has changed the quote to obviously reflect better on Virgil.

And guess what? There’s a link to give your opinion on one of the two RTD articles. You can believe I sent my opinion of this blatant distortion of the truth. Now we’ll just have to see if the RTD will print it online. : )

Fox News or the Times-Dispatch—now who would you believe first?

UPDATE: Well, the RTD did not publish my comment. So I'm sending them an email about it and also sending the information to Media Matters. Newspapers should state the truth as it is said--and, if they change anything, should be sure to let us know.


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