Saw this article concerning the recent protest against CAIR and Joe Sestak’s affiliation with them. It’s not horrible but there are some things there that would present a skewered perception of what was going on there and why. Of course anyone with any sales background can tell you, perception is reality. That’s the battle that the right faces in the main stream media. While there is nothing that is super wrong with the article from a facts standpoint, things were written in such a way as to slant the article. Here’s an email I sent to the reporter. He can be reached at tinfield at phillynews.com
Dear Mr. Infield,
I am writing to your concerning your recent article on Joe Sestak and CAIR. I was at the protest and had a few questions. While most of your article is well written you have a very serious pro-CAIR slant without showing the other side. I refer you to this part of your article.
CAIR is not on any U.S. list of terrorism sponsors. Since its founding in 1994, it has had good relationships with the U.S. government. It has worked with the FBI in training agents in cultural sensitivity.
Gov. Rendell, though not a scheduled speaker, showed up late at the event last night.
CAIR, which promotes civil rights for Muslims, has consistently denounced acts of terrorism. But it has refused to condemn the Palestinian group Hamas and the Lebanese group Hezbollah, which the United States does recognize as terrorist organizations. That, more than anything else, has raised its critics’ ire.
What you left out are all of the indictments against CAIR officials, please note, it’s officials of CAIR and not simply members, for pro-terrorism connections. You also leave out Senator Barbara Boxer’s decision to rescind an award to CAIR based on it’s ties to terrorism. Has CAIR been physically connected to terrorism? Not that I’m aware of but they are tied financially to aiding terrorists. As a journalist I’m sure you have heard the phrase “follow the money” and “where there’s smoke there’s fire”. Well a simple google search for Cair and terrorism gives you 800,000 links to research. You could also google CAIR and Holy Land Foundation. It’s not hard to find cases where founding members of CAIR chapters were indicted for helping to fund terrorist! Including their National Civil Rights Coordinator and Communications Specialist, who recieved 20 years for aiding terrorists and being part of the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba.
You also make no note of whether or not Sestak or Rendell stayed at the fundraising part of the evening. That is an essential part of the story that is left out. If Sestak truly had a problem with being associated with the “fundraising” aspect of the evening but wanted a chance to speak to his “250 constituents there” (meanwhile ignoring the 20,000 your article mentions of the Jewish faith), he would of left when they announced the fundraising part of the evening had started. Perhaps he did, but your readers do not know. They also do not know of how much our governor interacted with the fundraising aspect. Important facts to know!
this part of the article also concerned me:
Small but vocal Jewish groups have accused CAIR of being an apologist for terrorism at best, a front for terrorism at worst.
There are many more groups that have issues with CAIR and it’s ties to terrorism. Most are not Jewish in nature, yet your article made it seem that it’s just a few Jewish groups that have issues. Once again some simple fact checking could of shown that the “small but vocal groups” include the Washington Times, Daniel Pipes (a leading scholar on Islam), and many others not of Jewish persuasion.
Another part of your article that raised my eyebrows was this part here:
Outside the City Avenue hotel, amid Passover week snow flurries, about a dozen Jewish protesters held up signs blasting Sestak for what they said was his nerve in showing up. One sign read, “Say it ain’t so, Joe.”
You got the number of people there right, however your facts are wrong about the makeup of the group. While I’m sure some of the protesters there were Jewish, this is not a Jewish/Muslim issue. I for one am not Jewish, neither was the young lady who came to the protest with me. I also met people from The United American Committee. We all heard about the protest from different avenues with different backgrounds but came united in the same goal. To show our displeasure with our Congressman affiliating himself and our state with those who would support terrorism. This was something that some simple questions would of showed you, after all there was only about 12 of us, surely not too many people to talk to.
I for one, appreciate the coverage provided by the Inky, being a lifelong Philadelphian it was nice to be involved in something that got newspaper coverage other then an Eagles game! However, I feel that your article left readers with a skewered perception of events and reasons. In this day of declining readership, I think it’s even more important for a newspaper to have equal and complete coverage. Thanks for your time.