Schlosser upbraids NYT reporter on sloppy article

David Schlosser, Libertarian candidate for US Congress in Arizona’s District-1 sent out one of the most badass press releases I’ve seen in a while. I think more of this is a good thing:

From: David Schlosser
Sent: Tuesday, October 24, 2006 8:23 AM
To: kjohn (@) nytimes.com
Cc: public (@) nytimes.com
Subject: Hey, Kirk, I’m the guy you wrote that story about

How could a bureau chief of the nation’s paper of record write an entire story (“In Southwest, a Shifting Away From Party Ties,” NYT, 24 October 2006, ~1750 words) about independent and third-party voters in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District without talking to the candidate who represents an alternative to the R and D candidates you did talk to? If it weren’t such a flagrant and disgraceful example of poor, lazy reporting, I would think it must be a joke.

As the Libertarian candidate for US Congress in AZ1, I have been advertising on TV since mid-August. I will, by the end of the campaign, participate in at least 10 joint appearances with one or both of the major-party candidates. In the past week alone, I’ve put more than 2,000 miles on my car campaigning through this sprawling district. I have raised nearly $30,000 ““ small by R/D standards, but a record-breaking amount for non-R/non-D candidates in Arizona. I have earned more than 100 mentions in the state’s broadcast and print news media in recent weeks and, on the Libertarian Party’s national candidate tracker, rank in performance/success behind the party’s former Presidential candidate, who has raised more than $300,000 in TX10.

I’m adjunct faculty at the Northern Arizona University School of Communication. According to the departmental rules on grading journalistic writing assignments, this one would have earned you an “F.” I would be more than happy to help remediate this situation by corresponding or visiting with you at your convenience.

With sincere best wishes for your continued success,
David Schlosser

Bravo Mr. Schlosser. You might also want to point out that exclusion like this goes beyond mere laziness, it’s actually a violation of the Society of Professional journalist’s highest code of ethics: “Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error. Deliberate distortion is never permissible.”

14 Comments
  1. Laziness? Ignorance? How about deliberate? I forget who told the story, but someone bearded Walter Cronkite about
    “why don’t you cover Ed Clark and the Libertarians?” in
    1980, and Cronkite spat out “because they are evil!”

  2. Yup, that’s how liberals see us, as “evil” or more right-wing than the Republicans. This is why they ignore us, yet praise the Greens and Naderites.

  3. Praise for Greens or Naderites from liberals? Decidely not ever since the 2000 election! Don’t you know that they cost Al Gore the presidency? (Not that Gore really needed any help to manage that.)

    On the other hand, Greens can see past labels when you make the effort to talk with them. I, for example, am one of three candidates who earned an endorsement from the Travis County Green Party here in the Austin area. (The other two are Democrats.) These guys did an excellent job crafting an explanation for their endorsement that really helps my cause.

    I am working hard to build a coalition of progressive, fiscal consrvative, and independent voters. It is not an impossible mission when the only alternative on the ballot is a “Democrat in name only” who spent money like crazy while serving as mayor but squandered most of those funds on failed corporate welfare deals and various sellouts to developers, Enron and the like. Check it out!

  4. What we need is to combine the best of the Greens and the Libertarians: the goals of the Greens with the means of the Libertarians.

    That would solve the problem with both parties:

    Currently, we have a Green Party whose policy suggestions are diametrically opposite to what they are supposed to achieve, and a Libertarian Party that comes off as the NSGOP on meth.

    We could solve both problems at once by combining the best of both parties.

    By adopting the Key Values of the GP we cease to look like troglodytes who actually would destroy the environment, bring back segregation, etc.

    By junking the statist GP platform, we can actually work towards achieving those goals instead of against them.

    But, chances are it will not happen.

  5. On the bright side of reporters covering news, the Olbermans MSNBC show this evening featured several minutes with Loretta Nall, who is the Libertarian writein candidate for governor of her state. Those of you on mountain or pacific time may abrely be able to catch this.

  6. Rock’s GP endorsement shows a lot about what they really think. They want a lot more transparency and responsibility in government. I definitely find that as a low priority on the LP totem pole. Although both Smither and Badnarik have offered novel concepts with the “punch the clock” and contract with voters ideas. Let me state again that such things should be hammered out to become STANDARD FARE for Libertarian campaigns.

    paulie, I actually think that Greens can come around. They are obviously people willing to work things out their own way. I think they just need some guidance in the right direction. For another thing, as the LP gets more populist in message, more of them will be attracted and they will be exposed to the truth. That will convert them. Plus, our growing numbers will basically be the only remotely viable alternative.

  7. A lot of that “to the right of the Republicans” and “to the left of the Democrats” stuff came from us in misguided positioning attempts. We played right into our opponents hands.

    We need to come across as “The New Center” in politics, not out on the fringes. The best of both major parties, not the more extreme. We should paint the Ds & Rs as the extremists they really are!

  8. Paulie,

    I am working on something like that, but its going really slow due to my typing.

    They want a lot more transparency and responsibility in government. I definitely find that as a low priority on the LP totem pole.

    its hard to take th LP seriously on government, becuase the party is specifically prohibited from endorsing or recommending any form of government – even our own.

  9. Richard –

    it’s hard to position yourself as the new center when your party is prohibited from publishing any lit that recommends any form of government – including our own. How does one position a political party that cannot even endorse our own form of governace?

  10. Yes, I’ve had lots of good contacts with Greens.

    I was working on their ballot access in Arkansas earlier this year. We agreed on a lot of stuff. Even guns, surprisingly enough, although perhaps they only want them to be available to non-regimists until they get in power.

    Maybe a good Green-Libertarian alliance can emerge, but the LP would have to be thoroughly deboortzified first.

    Of course if it’s a new party that will not be our problem, building traction will be; the nuts and bolts ain’t easy, folks.

    OBTW the only thing in the middle of the road is yellow stripes and dead armadilloes.

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