Thursday, February 23, 2006

Letter to the Editor: Marquette Warrior Unfair to Tribune

From former Marquette Tribune editor Adam Kirby, a response to our post suggesting that the paper would have failed a litmus test if they did not to publicize the Marquette speech of a soldier who served in Iraq.
It’s not fair to use the Friday visit by the CR’s [College Republicans] Army lieutenant as a “litmus test” for Tribune bias. If I understand your post correctly, this speech was just announced today, giving the Trib less than 24 hours to write a preview piece — compared to several months advance notice on Mr. Jarecki.

In my experience at the Trib and other professional newspapers, if a group gives anything less than a week notice in advance of an event, they best they should expect is a one-paragraph calendar mention. A speaker coming to campus, unless it is a significant national figure, is not breaking news and would never get such treatment.

If the Trib indeed does give this speech significant preview coverage with less than 24 hours of advance notice, it would be doing so for the sole purpose of making the College Republicans happy. Appeasing a special interest group is a horrible way to make news judgments, and I would be disappointed if the Trib does it. It would be inconsistent with normal policy.
Kirby appears to have a good point here. After some checking, we determined that the speech, from Fox News Military Analyst and retired Army Lt. Col. Scott Rutter, was not widely publicized outside College Republican circles until yesterday.

We still wonder, however, whether the Tribune will cover Rutter’s talk tomorrow as they covered Jarecki.

The Tribune published a puff piece on Jarecki.

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