I’m Confused By Jonathan Weisman

In my experience, nobody in journalism responds well to outraged email. In fact, journalists typically take hostile reader mail as a sign that they’re doing their job well. Why that is and what it says about the profession I’ll leave for another day. But on the theory that you catch more flies with honey, or something, I sent the following email to Jonathan Weisman earlier today:

I read your article about how “Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign launched a broadside against Sen. Barack Obama yesterday, accusing him of a sexist smear, comparing his campaign to a pack of wolves on the prowl against the GOP vice presidential pick, charging that the Democratic nominee favored sex education for kindergartners, and resurrecting the comments of the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.”

This left me a bit confused. I wouldn’t want to vote for a candidate who’s sexist or who favors sex education for such young children. But I also wouldn’t want to vote for a candidate who would level those charges against an opponent in a dishonest matter. So which was it? Were McCain’s charges accurate? I was expecting your second paragraph to assess the charges you were reporting on, but which was it? Could you clarify for me?

You can email Weisman, too, through this form and his co-author on the piece Peter Slevin through this form. I have no idea if it’ll make any difference, but I think that if hundreds (thousands, even) of people were to write similar messages to Weisman and Slevin that it might prompt some kind of reaction.