Murphy Dome Diaries

A journalist observes life in the far north.

What happens when an unemployed writer drinks whiskey

My legendary former desk mate, Madge Friedenauer, had a little time on her hands and booze in her system recently. One thing led to another and she penned the letter below to Gov. Sarah Palin.

My boss’s boss, who was for many years just my boss, also wrote something. Not a drunken letter but a column. It says a lot about how the governor treats journalists in her home state. See it here.

As for Madge, she posted the letter on Facebook and is shy enough to wish I hadn’t disclosed her name but a journalist enough to hate when people advance anonymous criticism.

So here it is:

(Prologue: Yeah, I’m a dork. Yeah, I really wrote this. Yeah, I really emailed it to her. Yeah, I’ve had a drink. Nope, she probably won’t ever read it. Yeah, I gotta get over it…)

Dear. Ms. Palin
RE: Your recent twitter about “liberal” newspapermen

Just to be fair Ms. Palin, Walter Cronkite’s actual quote was:
“I think that being liberal, in the true sense, is being nondoctrinaire, nondogmatic, noncommitted to a cause—but examining each case on its merits. Being left of center is another thing; it’s a political position. I think most newspapermen by definition have to be liberal; if they’re not liberal, by my definition of it, then they can hardly be good newspapermen.”

The term “liberal” might have taken on a new connotation since then, but that doesn’t take away from what Cronkite actually meant. As someone who’s been very vocal about how you feel you’ve been treated by the press, you seem to be doing the same kind of mis-quoting and taking things out of context that you so often blame the media for.

Just my opinion. Perhaps I’m touchy on the subject; I’m a former Daily News-Miner reporter that worked hard each day to be “liberal” in the way Cronkite meant. Granted, it’s not always easy. But most journalists I know really do work hard to make serving and informing the community their only motive – and thus are the most “liberal” people I know, no matter what their political ideals.

Thanks very much for your time.

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This entry was posted on July 11, 2009 by .
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