One of the things biggest difference between an MSM reporter and a blogger is editorial discretion.
Individual bloggers are their own editors. On an individual blog with nobody looking over your shoulder you are more likely to get not only the occasional spelling and grammar error but, depending on the blogger, to get occasional f-bomb, vulgarity and outrageous opinions that would never make a newspaper.
In contrast when I do an occasional piece for watchdog.org I have an editor who occasionally send pieces back for rewrites or rejection if it doesn’t meet their needs or standards. When my Weinergate blogpost was rewritten as an opinion piece in the NY Post (leading to my appearance on Fox Boston) the Post was very careful with it taking several drafts & making sure nothing I made no unsubstantiated claims.
It is this fact that makes the placement of Linda Stasi’s piece in the New York Daily News worse than the content.
To be sure the content itself is reprehensible
They were two hate-filled, bigoted municipal employees interacting in one department. Now 13 innocent people are dead in unspeakable carnage.
One man spent his free time writing frightening, NRA-loving, hate-filled screeds on Facebook about the other’s religion.
The other man quietly stewed and brewed his bigotry, collecting the kind of arsenal that the Facebook poster would have envied.
and has drawn rebuke from folks from Erick Erickson:
The left keeps reaching new lows. This really is amazing. The New York Daily News’ Linda Stasi has penned a piece attacking one of the victims killed by the terrorists in California.
Turns out he is an evangelical, born-again Messianic Jew and NRA member. Therefore, he can be attacked and defamed after being killed by terrorists
To Rod Dreher
It is vile, utterly vile, that Linda Stasi and the Daily News would speak of a murdered man that way. So, what, does the Daily News now reserve the right to look into the opinions of all murder victims, and if they don’t like what they see, publish columns saying that they are no better than the man who slaughtered them?
Stasi here reminds me of the old black-humor joke: “Sure, Hitler hated the Jews. But to be fair, the Jews also hated Hitler.”
And if this was Linda Stasi writing on her blog for all the well deserved critique it might draw it would be of no more consequence than the ravings of the assorted twenty–something feminists that Stacy McCain mocks. It would be a blogger ranting and the onus would rightly be exclusively on her.
But that’s not what happened.
This piece didn’t run on a person blog, it ran in the New York Daily News (Alexa Rank 783) a major American Newspaper in the Largest City in the United States and decided to put it under the masthead.
Think about that.
Not only did the layers of editor and fact checkers at the New York Daily News decide that Ms. Stasi’s piece was worthy of publication in their paper, but they upon consideration concluded that it belonged under the masthead for every reader to see.
To put this in proper perspective imagine if the New York Daily News running such a piece attacking a 9/11 victim on September 14th 2001. Or maybe on the next anniversary of 9/11 picture the city removing the names of any victims who were members of the NRA.
To be sure Linda Stasi has a first amendment right to say, think and write what she wants. She has a right to try and distribute those opinions to as wide an audience as she can muster by whatever platforms are willing to give her space to do so.
She however doesn’t have a first amendment right to the Masthead of the New York Daily News, that had to be given to her by the paper’s affirmative consent and the New York Daily News and it’s editorial board should be judged accordingly.
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