Korwin vs Arizona Republic:
Accuracy Problem on Page One



An open letter to The Arizona Republic
cc: Selected individuals


As many of you already know, I keep an eye out for serious errors in the paper, and since the Republic typically does not correct these, I try to get the word around myself.

Sunday's errors were the self-evident kind, where you don't need direct subject knowledge to spot that at least something's wrong with the story. There's even a picture.

The man alluded to in the picture as a federal agent, an INS agent, and a U.S. Marshall, is wearing a uniform that says Border Patrol.

He is not brandishing a rifle. He is threatening the use of deadly force with the type of fully automatic assault weapon favored by criminals, an MP5 "point-and-spray" submachine gun.

If this represents exercise of the rule of law, as has been previously reported, are other separated families now subject to similar due process? If negotiators were present for "several hours" before the "predawn" raid, are we to understand they started talks at 3 a.m.?

I could go on, but you got the picture.

Now, I've been told before, that since the story is from the Associated Press, it's not the Republic's problem, even though it appears on page one. But as good writers yourselves, this kind of sloppiness should be a concern, and perhaps even implies a possibility for unwanted bias in other parts of the paper, including your part.

Maybe you should raise a point or two with the AP yourselves, and even report on the results. You know they routinely portray criminal use of firearms as high powered assault tactics, but with government on the front page, it is a mere rifle, uh, I mean trifle.

The AP has once again self-evidently demonstrated an egregious and gross bias in its reporting on such subjects. You should voice concern because it affects you in surprising ways. For instance, where Jodie Snyder reported the next day that Arizonans must go to court to prove mental illness, recent AP reports establish, with a straight face, that federal doctors can diagnose the mental condition of a boy they have not met. We should get some of those doctors to help us (or retract one of the reports), no? You should ponder whether such disjoints play a role in the so-called media credibility problems.

Let me close by observing that 70% of Sunday's A section, and 84% of Monday's, was not written by The Arizona Republic. It was written by the Associated Press, and other nationalized sources like the NY Times and other wires.

So here's my question. I count at least 100 writers with bylines at the Republic. Why don't you guys write the paper? And who, precisely, runs the self-evidently biased AP you rely upon so heavily?

Sincerely, Alan Korwin,
Author The Arizona Gun Owner's Guide




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