Sunday, September 19, 2004


Handy Fuse ignites, defends the underdog

Sometimes I just go off. I can go for days at a time without going off. But then Boom!

And I never know what's going to be the trigger. For instance, never would I have suspected that it would be Ms. Anna Badkhen of the San Francisco Chronicle. Never.

Ms. Badkhen, who is labeled a staff writer, did a campaign piece called "The View from Ohio." If you look at the article as a whole, it has all the appearance of being "balanced." But when you get to the crux of the article—the views of Bush and Kerry on religion—the veil is lifted.

It was at that point that I clicked on her email address and wrote the following:

When you wrote,
Both Kerry and Bush are religious. Bush has said that as president, he turns "to the good Lord for strength, and I turn to the good Lord for guidance. " Kerry favors separation of church and state, but he comes from a Roman Catholic family and has identified himself as a "person of faith."

you couldn't have given a more loaded, biased perspective on their positions. On the one hand, you quote Bush, but instead of giving corresponding quotes from Kerry, you offer your own evaluation of the candidate: that he favors separation of church and state.

Is this in contrast to Bush? What is Bush's position on "separation of church and state"?

Given that the separation of church and state has been the judicial and administrative doctrine of this country throughout my lifetime and yours, wouldn't it be more informative to the reader to note what a radical shift of official policy the Bush administration is making?

You might have written a sentence such as, "According to critics, the Bush administration has taking a number of steps that blur the barrier between church and state. Kerry opposes this departure from a government tradition that extends back for generations."

Instead, apparently to imply that the separation of church and state is somehow an irreligious position, you preface the next clause with a "but." "Kerry favors separation of church and state BUT he comes from a Roman Catholic family..."

Then to round out your evaluation, you polish it off with the cold "and has identified himself as a 'person of faith.'" You write "has identified himself" while you have George Bush up praising the "good Lord"?

This sort of bias in the press is subtle and sickening, but in this case I doubt it was accidental.

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