“I only want to talk to one person in each county across the United States, and here’s what I want to say: County sheriffs, disarm U.S. bureaucracy. County sheriffs, disarm U.S. bureaucrats,” Bundy said on Glenn Beck’s radio show on TheBlaze on Monday.Please read below the fold for more on this story.
“I only want to talk to one person in each county across the United States, and here’s what I want to say: County sheriffs, disarm U.S. bureaucracy. County sheriffs, disarm U.S. bureaucrats,” Bundy said on Glenn Beck’s radio show on TheBlaze on Monday.
Beck said he invited Bundy on his show after speaking with him Sunday to try to understand the man whose cattle have ignited a flashpoint between federal regulators and states’ rights advocates over federal land. On Saturday, the Bureau of Land Management released Bundy’s cattle back to him after rounding it up on federal land over what they say are unpaid grazing fees.
Okay, stop. Set aside the fact that she has quoted Mr. Bundy by listening to Glenn Beck's radio show rather than interviewing him herself. A sad fact that basically makes her, like me, a crappy blogger. (Of course, for me writing is a hobby, not a profession.) But she could have at least achieved the status of a decent blogger by doing some research to inform us if the grazing fees are, in fact, unpaid. I found a Federal Court Order that proves the fees are due and aren't paid in about six seconds. The fees being owed or not is not a "some say" matter of dispute. It is either a truth or a falsehood, easily researched. Why couldn't Ms. Kopan simply let us know the facts, informing us of some news, and shedding light on the matter?
The "reporter" goes on to include key parts of Mr. Bundy's interview with Beck, dutifully transcribing Bundy's words and quoting him generously. It must be a tough beat to listen to the radio while Glenn Beck of all people has the access. We already know how much Washington reporters cherish access over real work. Then Ms. Kopan hits bottom:
Bundy did not go into specifics about how sheriffs or people should “disarm” federal regulators, but he said he disputes that the land in question is federal land. He claims the land belongs to the state of Nevada.See, now this is just truly an embarrassing moment. It has to be. We can discover, pretty quickly in fact, if the land is actually federal land or if it isn't. I did in about six seconds. It is federal land. The above linked court order is unequivocal about this. I shouldn't have to do that because that is the job of a reporter: to publish the truth. Instead, all Ms. Kopan has done here is listen to the radio and write down what she heard. I mean ... is that all there is to it? Because I can do that from my mother's basement with a bag of Cheetos at the ready.
I don't expect Politico, of all places, to engage in real journalism. That would be naive. But I would think a young journalist starting out would want to do some work she could take pride in. Work that sheds light, clears up the haze, cuts to the chase, and most importantly presents the truth as something that can be found and told.