Letter to the Editor of Star Tribune

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On November 11, 2011, I came across an article about Michele Bachmann in the Star Tribune. I am not looking to get political on this blog, but lets just say I have always been a fan of her views (as shown by the flattering picture of her below). But I also feel that everyone should be treated fairly, even if they are public figures. The Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics has four major points: Seek truth and Report it, Minimize Harm, Act Independently and Be Accountable. The following article is not reporting the whole truth, and after is my letter to the editor.

Original Article

Bachmann speech is interrupted by chanting protesters
Posted by: Jeremy Herb under 2012 Presidential election, 6th District, National campaigns Updated: November 10, 2011 - 3:45 PM
Screen shot 2011-12-08 at 11.51.08 PM.pngRep. Michele Bachmann's speech was interrupted Thursday by a group of chanting protesters who were reportedly part of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Bachmann was giving a foreign policy speech on the USS Yorktown in South Carolina Thursday when the group began call-and-response chanting.
"Mike check. This will only take a minute. We have a message for Ms. Bachmann," the protesters said, according to video from the event.
Bachmann's supporters began yelling back to "sit down," and eventually the Minnesota Republican was escorted off the stage by a police officer.
MSNBC said that Bachmann returned to the stage minutes later, saying: "Don't you love the First Amendment?"

Response

Dear Star Tribune Editor

The story about Michelle Bachmann was interesting and I like to hear the OWS protesters are doing what they can to make a voice for themselves. But I had a problem with how your article ended. Bachmann's quote "Don't you love the First Amendment?" which makes for a very rude statement indeed, but that wasn't the end of the statement. She had said "Don't you just love the First Amendment? It's great, we have a great country and I want to thank you all for your understanding."

The quote was still inappropriate, and I may not be supportive of Michelle Bachmann, but cutting her quote off early to make her seem worse was not appropriate journalistically. Yes, she said that, but the original quote makes her seem unpatriotic, which she clears up in the next five words, by saying this country is great. I think you should add to the article online and state that you made the correction. Many of the comments show that people do not know the quote was longer, which is unfair to readers and Ms. Bachmann as well.

Thanks

Heather Johnson
Joh04819@umn.edu
651-472-1925
Works Cited
http://www.startribune.com/politics/national/133645098.html
http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/11/10/bachmann-interrupted-by-protesters/

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