When Politicians Mislead About Being Misleading
PHOENIX -- I roll my eyes when I hear public figures and politicians complain that news organizations have aired or printed a story that is false and misleading. I find this especially funny when those stories are based on the politician’s own public records and statements.
I believe that most of those complaining would be better served if they would admit a mistake, plead mea culpa and tell us how they will fix the problem.
Instead, the immediate reaction is often to deny the problem, pound the media like a piñata and proclaim innocence.
There are times when a reporter or media organization does make a mistake, and they should be called out for it when they do. I would bet though, that most times the reporters got it right and the public figure got caught.
Oh, and remember -- if you work for a governmental organization, when you send an email discussing how to pre-empt the story, that’s a public record too. Journalists will file a public records request for those emails, which often confirms the original story. (Oh forget that, keep sending all the emails.)
The “false and misleading” defense is usually just that, false and misleading.