Public Editor

June 23, 2014

My IRS scandal column: ‘Poorly written, says nothing’

Readers really unloaded on me over my column about The Star’s coverage of the IRS scandal in the print edition. Were they right — or did they miss the point?

I heard the most criticism I’ve had in a long time over my column today on The Kansas City Star’s coverage in the print edition of the IRS scandals and what might be on the Lois Lerner’s emails that disappeared in a computer crash.

“You’re an idiot,” said one caller.

“This is the worst thing I’ve read in The Star in a long time,” said another.

“Poor article, poorly written, says nothing,” wrote one emailer.

I honestly think most of my critics here are mostly disagreeing with my assertion that Fox News has taken a palpable swing into partisan waters in how they report the news in recent years. I argue that this wasn’t always the case when it comes to their straight news reporting. I still stand by that, and my other contention that most liberal critics of the network confuse its pundits with its reporting. But again, that line has been erased in my opinion.

At any rate, you’re always free to disagree with my columns. But don’t miss the core point I was making: The controversy over what went on at the IRS is indeed newsworthy, and as it develops editors should continue to cover it, as they have been. Many people contacting me were under the impression I was making the opposite point, which isn’t true at all.

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