Wednesday, May 30, 2007

We get an exclusive interview with President Bush

Our paper is owned by the McClatchy Co., the nation's second-largest newspaper corporation. As such, we get first crack at the top-notch reporting from the McClatchy bureau in Washington, D.C. Today is an example. White House correspondent Ron Hutcheson got an exclusive interview with President Bush while he traveled to Georgia yesterday. The president used the interview to promote his immigration plan and counter critics. We published Ron's story on Page A3. Here is the link to the story from our Web site:
Ron's relationship with President Bush began in the early 1990s in Texas. Ron is a University of Texas graduate who later worked for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and covered Bush when he became governor of Texas. Ron is one of the most knowledgeable reporters in Washington when it comes to all things pertaining to George W. Bush -- and our readers get the benefit of that with stories like today's.
_ Tad Weber


David said...

What's the difference between that "interview" and a press release? Ron Hutcheson might be a good reporter, but all we can tell from that story is that he is a good transcriber.

From that piece we get no sense for what questions he supposedly asked, nor the President's demeanor, attitude or character.

It doesn't appear that the President was asked any "hard" questions. And finally, we are left with what amounts to a non-sequitur from the President, when he says that building a border fence "sends a clear message" but that "we're not going to build a fence on places where people don't want it." Huh? It would be nice if the interviewer sought some clarity on this peculiar and contradictory statement from the President.

Based on this story it looks to me that Mr. Hutcheson and McClatchy newspapers were simply used by the Administration to gain free political advertising. And that's all the readers are left with.

The significance of this "exclusive" story isn't all that you seem to imply it is. There is no evidence of any reportorial enterprise used to obtain it. If McClatchy didn't run this story, the Bush administration would have simply asked another news agency to do so. No big deal. Let's get real.

David said...

Oh, I neglected to leave my name for the previous comment. I think it is a shame that you let everyone post comments anonymously on your website, something you never have allowed in letters to the editor, and for good reason.

If people were forced to leave their true identities when commenting then maybe there wouldn't be all this terrible, ugly, sickening trash talk stinking up this website. People will say anything, mindlessly beat up anyone with their words, if they don't have to take any responsibility for it.

I imagine you allow it just so you can show that you have people interacting with your site. It's a sad trade-off which I think does more harm than good for our community. Don't you agree?

David Ciaffardini