WashPo and Time Help ABC Bury Treatment of Kucinich
Following last Sunday’s Democratic presidential debate on ABC News’ This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Dennis Kucinich’s campaign asked ABC News to address issues it had with treatment Rep. Kucinich (D-Ohio) received both during the debate and afterward in ABC’s online coverage. In an email sent out to supporters on Wednesday, the campaign said it “submitted objections and inquiries to ABC News representatives on Monday and Tuesday. ABC News representatives have failed to respond – or even acknowledge – those objections and inquiries.” I confirmed with the Kucinich campaign yesterday that it has subsequently been forwarded the same response ABC News Executive Director Andrea Jones sent to The Washington Post and Time magazine.
ABC News representatives felt it necessary to answer the Kucinich campaign’s objections when Time magazine’s National Political Correspondent Karen Tumulty queried them. Writing on the Time blog Swampland, Tumulty initially says of the Kucinich team’s issues with ABC’s treatment (which included Kucinich not having a chance to speak until 28 minutes into the debate), “These all seemed like fair complaints to me, so I asked ABC News to respond.” Then Tumulty says, “In an e-mail, Executive Director Andrea Jones answered him [Kucinich] point by point.”
While I give Tumulty credit for contacting ABC News, her investigative journalism unfortunately ends there. Once she receives the email from Jones, Tumulty slips into stenography mode. Jones’ “point by point” response to the Kucinich campaign’s complaints does not in itself exculpate or dispel any of ABC’s wrongdoing. Tumulty fails to assess the accuracy and logic of Jones’ answers.