In Sunday’s Grand Rapids Press, the editor Paul M. Keep responded to my earlier letter about their coverage of a tea party event. As you may recall, I called into question their grand claims about attendance at the event given the complete lack of any evidence to substantiate those claims. In response to my letter, Keep says the following:
We prefer journalism to illusions. It is a little hard for me to understand an argument that covering a tea party rally in our area amounts to poor journalism, but several readers have told me that. Tea party activities have made national news and are of interest to a lot of Press readers. I think this boils down to a situation where a reader disagrees with what the tea party stands for and is taking out that frustration on the messenger, The Press.
I’m not sure whether Keep is cynical or willfully ignorant (maybe both?). In any case, he seems in dire need of a liberal arts education that might teach him how to read a text or discern an “argument.” There is not a single sentence in my letter which calls into question whether The Press should cover a tea party event. The issue is how it was covered. How one could miss that point baffles me, and is particularly disappointing when one considers that this person–who doesn’t seem to be able to read–governs what news is read in West Michigan.
And to think that I, in a moment of weakness, had just re-subscribed to The Press after the fiasco of their John McCain endorsement…