Monday, August 30, 2004

This Isn't News

This has been blogged before, but it bears repeating:
Reuters Editor's Email 'Sad But Revealing,' Pro-Life Group Says

( - A Reuters news service editor sent an e-mail to a pro-life group last week, criticizing the group's stance on abortion as well as its support of the Bush administration....

According to the National Right to Life Committee, the email came "out of the blue" from Todd Eastham, a news editor for Reuters. Eastham was responding to a press release that the National Right to Life Committee sent to hundreds of news outlets after a federal judge in New York struck down a ban on partial birth abortion.

Eastham's email read as follows: "What's your plan for parenting & educating all the unwanted children you people want to bring into the world? Who will pay for policing our streets & maintaining the prisons needed to contain them when you, their parents & the system fail them? Oh, sorry. All that money has been earmarked to pay off the Bush deficit. Give me a frigging break, will you?"

Douglas Johnson, the National Right to Life Committee's legislative director, called it "sad but revealing to see an editor for a major news service so casually and gratuitously express such blatant hostility to both the Bush administration and to the right to life of unborn children....

At the bottom of Eastham's email is a statement that reads: "Any views expressed in this message are those of the individual sender, except where the sender specifically states them to be the views of Reuters Ltd."

That "boilerplate material" invites Eastham's readers to visit the Reuters website, Johnson noted. Johnson said he did visit the website, where he found a Reuters' editorial policy, which said, "Reuters journalists do not offer their own opinions or views."...
Normally they slip their opinions and views into the articles they write for Reuters, but with no more subtlety than Eastham's email.