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That is Greg Patterson's best blog post ever!

"changes people into biased hypocritical bullies." Don't you want to say Hypercritical?

a hearty Amen! from the cheap seats in Scottsdale

This has to be your finest post ever. It should be required reading for all wannabe journalists. Kudos to your tenacity and perseverance Greg.

Wow - brilliantly written. I would have also included something about the fawning coverage of Clean Elections in 2002 when they claimed that Salmon had violated the rules and the silence when Clean Elections admitted they were wrong. Or the day-after-day-after-day front page coverage received for allegations that Salmon had broken House rules in "lobbying" for Phoenix, followed by one page B6 article finding that there was no wrongdoing.

Amen, Brother! I am still trying to figure out what I did to Kevin Willey to make her detest my very existence on this earth.

I've worked at BOTH competing papers in the valley for over the past 13 years. Boy the things I have seen, even very recently. Both treat their employees poorly and I witnessed the firing of old seasoned employees banished to the cornfield and replaced with green unprofessional, dare I say, kids. So very sad. They don't want to admit it, but the papers, they are failing.

The best part, and only possible downside, about Greg's long and excellent post is that some could complain about how much he actually left out. That's good criticism. For example, FIfe Symington might have had a fair shake had it not been for the Arizona Republic. Man, he was the state's twice-elected governor and they took it upon themselves to undo the democratic process and take their second bite at the apple and blast him left and right. He ends up totally exonerated and we end up with Janet as governor. Hmmmm.

Brilliant Greg. As for stories not reported by MSM:
1. Why is there a high chainlink fence (with barbed wire!) surrounding the supposed "9-11 Memorial" by the capitol?
2. What's with the buses downtown that have their destination board lit up with "ED PASTOR TC"....should'nt it just say "TRANSIT CENTER" if that's where it is going???
oh well....great job Greg.

I’ve been with the Republic going on eleven years and I’ve seen and heard it all! From married managers sleeping with subordinates, to a photo tech being hired because his father is a VP within the company, and then having his son promoted to a photographer level without having the slightest background in photojournalism.
I joined a healthy newspaper family that prided itself in strong news and management skills. But in the past few years the newsroom has become a very dysfunctional family.
The newsroom managers have become so paralyzed with fear of losing their jobs that they fail to do their jobs. So worried about feeding the mutt and mortgage that they wage no battles for what’s right.
When you question a manager about the slightest thing, they will immediately blame Gannett the “ corporate monster.” I’m ready for the end.


Most alternative media sources, such as yourself, are blatantly biased. Liberals have complained about the republic for decades. you all have gotten into the game recently too. Should all our news come from sources that are so blatant about their politics? Isn't the fact that both sides endlessly whine about the mainstream media a sign that is our most unbiased option?

You want the New Times to be our major local news source? The New Times, espresso pundit and rumromanismrebellion will become a better source of information than the Republic and the Trib?

I enjoy all of those sources, but I know you all have an agenda.


As soon as every airline stops calling it "Reagan National" and just "National", you can whine some more about the "Ed Pastor TC".

Klute: is naming an airport in the nation's capital after a president who is both term-limited and dead really the same as advertising the name of sitting congressman on buses in the heart of his district?


I would much rather be able to choose from blatantly biased sources on both sides of the aisle than be force-fed by a biased source that claims not to be biased. I much prefer the moose in the middle of the road to the poisonous snake hidden in the grass. The careful individual will avoid them both but even an idiot can detour around the moose.


Please don't tell me you are comparing Ronald Reagon to Ed Pastor. Reagon is one of the most popular Presidents in history (2-6 depending on which poll you look at) and played a large role in ending the cold war. Pastor's greatest accomplishment is . . . .

Comparing Reagon to Pastor is like someone on the right comparing FDR to JD Hayworth.

Great post.

And I agree with the poster that there are more stories that could be added to this hall of shame, including the paper's treatment of Matt Salmon in 2002. That was truly outrageous.

For those so inclined, further glee can be found in this item from Advertising Age, reporting that the number of media jobs has dropped one-fourth since 2000:


As someone who has been on the receiving end of poor reporting, inaccuracies, bias, and subjective placement of stories and headlines...THANK YOU!

You are correct; it is not always the Republic. It seems some young journalists have learned this is how to get the job done. Fact check, corroboration, all sides, NAH...that would take too much time and besides, who cares it isn't them in the story.

Try to clear up a misconception 2 or 3 days after printing. Too little, too late.

I just looked it up, Benson. The reason it There are multiple transit centers in the Valley Metro system. So that's why it just doesn't say "Transit Center". But hey, let's just go with the whole "mass transit/MSM/George Soros" conspiracy angle. It'll be fun. I demand an ABC 15 Investigators segment:

"Valley Metro says it's to help people get where they're going, but what's their real motivation? ABC 15 investigates."

I've got not problem with buildings being named after people who are alive or dead. Are they noteworthy in the community? Yakov Smirnov has a building named for him in Branson (and sure, he's not an elected offical... yet).

The Reagan thing, maybe he's your hero, but he sure as hell ain't mine, although I do like MRGeorge's spelling of "Reagon" better - makes him more space opera-ish. Point is, the constitution doesn't have a "Satisfaction Guaranteed or Your Money Back" amendment. If I have to see Bonzo's name on the airport I fly into or the turnpike I drive on in Florida (which you know, don't tell me is not politicall motivated), deal with the Ed Pastor Transit Center. To borrow a phrase from Michelle Malkin: Suck. It. Up.

But I am glad to see the tinfoil hat is going to be the part of the official uniform for Minnesota. Franking, the nefarious bus labels, Obama's fainting spells... I've never seen the GOP in a such full blown panic. Quite frankly (!), it's awesome.

And believing that newspapers are dying because of some sort of bias and not because of the 24 cable-news television and the internet becoming more prominent is akin to believing the steamship lost out to airplanes because people we're getting seasick.

Great Post, Greg

My direct experience with the Republic is limited. Many years ago, though, I wrote a study under contract with the Goldwater Institute. On the day it was released, I got a call from a Republic reporter who had obviously not read the study. She read me a quote from someone who HAD read the study (a political consultant, paid to oppose my conclusions) who blatantly misrepresented what I had done and what I had concluded. I told her to call him back and point out A, B, and C, and ask him X, Y, and Z. She said, "I'm not going to call him back. I just need your reaction to what he said." As if the actual TRUTH were peripheral.

Given my options, though, I gave her my quote. His quote and my quote both ran the next day, in a story that made it seem like there was no difference in credibility between the two sides. And in fact, because he is a scorched earth political consultant and I am a civilized policy geek, he "won." That is, he lied and gave a sensational, damning quote about my work, while I told the truth and gave a bland, nuanced quote about my work. I didn't mention him at all. (In the end, when this particular issue was put to a vote, two-thirds of the voters sided with my conclusions, not those of the lying, unethical guy responsible for the opposition quote.)

I also got in touch with Laurie Roberts when I finished my study. She had written a number of columns on the issue and had arrived at conclusions that were starkly different from mine. I said, "You know, I just completed a pretty thorough study of this issue, and I think you and I arrived at different conclusions on almost every major issue. We should talk." Her response? "I'm tired of writing about that issue." I'm not kidding. We never met, and she didn't write another word on the subject.

From my (admittedly limited, anecdotal) experience, and from Greg's examples, I conclude that the Republic is not sinister. It is, however, lazy at the very least, possibly biased, and is much more interested in being interesting than in being right. There's a niche for that approach, but it shouldn't be occupied by the only daily that covers the entirety of the fifth largest city in the country.

Not sure that Fife was completely exonerated. A pardon from Bill Clinton technically wipes the record clean, but I doubt it provides exoneration. Am I missing something? Did something happen after the pardon that actually exonerated him?

The Albuquerque Trib's last edition is Saturday.

To special agent,
since when are we supposed to think that the "policy papers" produced by the Goldwater Institute are not "slanted." I know the GI would like people to think they don't have an agenda, but we know that is not the case.

Fife's conviction was overturned by the 9th circuit. He was not re-indicted. Then Clinton pardoned him, but it was unique because pardons are usually for people either in prison or at least have been convicted of something, and that was not the case. I agree "exonerated" is probably not the correct word for someone who gets investigated for 10 years, indicted, tried, convicted on 1/3 of the 20 or so counts, resigns his office pending his appeal, and then wins the appeal. Perhaps screwed is better term.

Muckraker: first off, unlike the MSM, think tanks disclose their biases. You think you're going to get Great Society liberalism from a place called the Goldwater Institute? How about Reagan conservatism from a place that calls itself the Progressive Policy Institute?

Beyond that, though, you seem to believe that think tanks pick an issue, massage the numbers so that they come out right (that is, so that they support conservative arguments or liberal arguments, whichever are required), and then publish the results.

Not so.

Conservative and liberal think tanks choose issue areas and data sources that don't require unethical massaging of data and slanting of results. It's not that difficult to do. If I'm for a guest worker program, for example, I can do a completely legitimate, honest study showing that illegal immigrants in various labor markets have had no significant adverse impact on native wages or employment. And if I'm opposed to a guest worker program, I can do a completely legitimate, honest study showing that illegals have had a significant adverse impact on the employment and wages of native workers in specific industries (those requiring low-skill, largely uneducated workers).

There are studies showing both, and as long as neither side claims that it has the whole truth, there's no ethical issue and no basis for a claim of "slanting" results.

It works the same way, too, in terms of choosing issues to write about in the first place. If you're a conservative, for example, you know you're "safe" writing about concealed carry laws: most states have some version of them, and nowhere do you find fender benders turning into shootouts (which is what the left predicted when these laws were adopted). But if you're on the left, concealed carry is not an issue you're going to write a lot about. On the other hand, if you are on the left, you know that there's been a HUGE amount of research done on cash welfare as an incentive to child-bearing. You also know that the vast majority of that research shows no connection, or only a very weak connection, between the two. So, you're "safe" writing about that. If you're a conservative, though, you're probably going to steer clear of this issue; the data don't support the old-line conservative arguments.

Or maybe that's how you thought it worked all along... I dunno. But there's a difference between what I described and taking every issue and every data set and forcing them to fit a pre-conceived view of the world. It just doesn't work that way -- at least not at the ethical places.

Thanks Avid, I didn't know the whole story and wanted to hear it from somebody. Sounds like a raw deal, but you're right about a pardon being wierd. Did the pardon short-circuit any chance of him being re-indicted? Why else do it?

Interesting about the Albuquerque Tribune shutting down. A shame for the folks who will lose their jobs (and who will swell that 25% of media jobs lost that I posted about earlier), but there's no way a market the size of ABQ can support two papers.

There's a town south of Phoenix with two papers that will be facing the same story soon.

Even here in Chicago, the Sun-Times has just been put up for sale and potential buyers are not battering down the doors (though I do think Chicago can support two papers for a while longer).

The issue John McCain is facing right now is exactly what Greg is talking about. Nameless sources implying unfounded rumors which supposedly happened eight years ago. Where is the courage of their convictions?

"Merry Christmas" heh! That's funny!

You want the New Times to be our major local news source? The New Times, espresso pundit and rumromanismrebellion will become a better source of information than the Republic and the Trib?

The answer to that question is that Greg does not get to choose which sources will be important in the future, just as The Arizona Republic does not get to choose whether it will survive the next 10 years. It either will, or it won't.

Will Arizona be poorer the day the Arizona Republic shuts its doors? Probably not. Greg has documented all the ways that the Republic is a waste of newsprint. In addition to that, when the paper closes its doors it will be because not enough people in the Valley care to read the thing. By definition, the Republic will die because the market has spoken.

What's more, on that day

Will some readers be saddened? Sure.

But this notion that the Republic "serves the community" and that it's got a special "mission" is part of the arrogance that makes me excited to know it's going to go out of business some day.

Will some people be out of work? Sure. It's unfortunate. But I don't think we need to collectively shed tears.

The writing is on the wall, and the smarter ones are changing careers, just as I decided to switch careers when I discovered my industry will go the way of the dinosaur in the next 20 years.

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