An open letter to WTOP News, Washington DC.
After the disgraceful behavior by CBS News over the past month, I feel it necessary to suggest that WTOP explore the possibility of getting out of the CBS News Network and aligning with someone else. Dan Rather’s “Memogate” was bad enough. For a group alleging to be news journalists, Mr. Rather has proven himself not worthy of trust with regard to reporting the facts. The use of obviously forged documents – and the continued defense of them to this day – would never be permitted by professionals who sought to simply report the facts.
Last night’s CBS News spectacle, however, is the last straw. Richard Schlesinger’s use of thoroughly debunked internet e-mails and an interview with a hugely biased individual to spread the latest Democratic Party charges is beneath your profession. His story purports to expose a danger of the draft returning should President Bush be re-elected. The e-mails he cites are hoaxes and have been proven so. The woman he interviews as the centerpiece of the story is reported as a Republican and portrayed as largely apolitical. Ms. Cocco is, however, a chapter president of an advocacy group called People Against the Draft. This fact is not relayed to the viewers. Nor is the group’s leadership noted in the story as being critics of the current administration. Finally, and this is inexcusable, Schlesinger goes on to make a big point of the fact that there are 2 bills in Congress trying to revive the draft while conveniently failing to mention that both of them have been submitted by Democrats. (Senate bill S.89 by Senator Fritz Hollings (D-SC), and House bill H.R. 163 by Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY). ) He simply mentions them without such context allowing the obvious implication that it’s the Bush Administration that wants them to pass.
I’ve been a loyal listener to WTOP for years. Your station is the only one I listen to on my morning commute and I check your web site several times a day to stay informed. I have never had an issue with how your reporters do their jobs and you are all to be commended for your professionalism. People are, however, known by the company they keep. CBS has shown in drastic detail they can no longer be rightfully titled a “news organization”. They are, instead, a media outlet for their special interests. I don’t want to see WTOP associated with that kind of reputation and I hope you don’t either.
Please, folks, consider leaving a dismally biased outfit behind and get on board with people who are still news reporters.