Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Roger Simon Exposes His Bias

On Thursday Thomas posted a piece covering the Politico's Roger Simon in Iowa at a Fred Thompson stop. The piece painted a very unflattering picture of Fred; one in which he seemed to be pretty much a bored fuddy-duddy on the stump. It has now been learned that this meeting at a firehouse did not go the way Mr. Simon claimed it did. While Thomas and I are, indeed, disappointed with the seemingly lackluster enthusiasm of Fred Thompson, a correction int he record is owed to our readers, and it is also owed to readers of The Politico. Hopefully, Mr. Simon answers this return volley to his side of the court:

In this long election cycle, we may be learning as much about media bias as about the candidates. PJM’s Bob Owens has more on the questionable characterization of Fred Thompson by The Politico’s Roger Simon.

Fire Chief Dan McKenzie cast more doubts on The Politico’s chief political correspondent Roger Simon’s version of events at McKenzie’s Waverly, Iowa fire station in Simon’s article “Fred Thompson: Lazy as charged.” Questions had been raised about Simon’s article based on a video of Thompson’s appearance, which seemed to show the candidate behaving in a radically different manner from the one described by The Politico correspondent. In interviews with Pajamas Media, Chief McKenzie similarly refuted Simon’s characterization of Thompson as “lazy” or “sour” at the event and the editor of the Waverly Democrat refused to confirm the accuracy of comments attributed to her in Simon’s article.

McKenzie was unaware of the Simon article until Friday afternoon. The Iowa fire chief was read the following paragraphs and asked for comment.

…Thompson rode four blocks to the local fire station. Local fire stations always have captive audiences (unless there is a fire).

Inside, Thompson shook a few hands — there were only about 15 people there — and then Chief Dan McKenzie handed Thompson the chief’s fire hat so Thompson could put it on.

Thompson looked at it with a sour expression on his face.

“I’ve got a silly hat rule,” Thompson said.

In point of fact, the “silly” hat was the one Chief McKenzie wore to fires and I am guessing none of the firefighters in attendance considered it particularly silly, but Thompson was not going to put it on. He just stood there holding it and staring at it.

To save the moment, Jeri Thompson took the hat from her husband’s hands and put it on her head.

“You look cute,” Thompson said to her. She did.

Unlike Simon’s characterization of a “sour” Thompson, McKenzie recalled that the firefighters were joking with the Thompsons during the visit, which corroborates the
CBS News video that captured part of the event. He stated further than any attempt to portray the event as Simon described was the work of “someone who had their own agenda.”

Unprompted, McKenzie stated that he was well aware of the dangers of politicians wearing hats, and he and his fellow firefighters understood why Thompson declined to wear the helmet. He also stated that he understood that someone might want to make an issue of Thompson wearing his helmet, and that it seemed that when Thompson declined, “someone decided to make an issue out of it anyway.”

Chief McKenzie concluded that the Waverly firemen was very appreciative of Thompson’s visit, as they would be of any
presidential candidate that took the time to stop by.

If you follow the link above to the CBS video, you will see that the fire chief is correct, and Mr. Simon has some explaining to do. He might like to start with how he got the scene at the fire station as wrong as he did. The CBS video shows Fred Thompson laughing and joking with the volunteer firemen. It is hardly the "lazy" or "sour" picture that Mr. Simon presented to readers, and his piece has unveiled a bias still prevalent in media.

As I said, we will admit that we are disappointed in Fred Thompson's performance thus far, but we will not be a party to a hatchet job piece. The report is faulty on it's face because Mr. Simon did not get the story right to begin with. Also, further refutation of Mr. Simon lies in this transcript of the meeting at the newspaper that Mr. Simon was not allowed to attend Ms. Dimitrova said the meeting was “was so vague that I would be hard-pressed to write a story." Except if you read the transcript, there was nothing severely vague about the discussion. He answered Ms. Dimitrova's questions as best he could. It was the typical stump-speech stuff candidates give out.

Mr. Simon owes his readers an apology, and an explanation. do not hold your breath waiting for either.



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