Gutter journalism: MIRS News

I like to have good relationships with the press but this just demands some attention. From MIRS News report on the House Dems lawsuit last night:

MIRS learned the lawsuit is part of the House Dems’ campaign message of government reform and GOP “corruption.” A well-placed source acknowledged that the Dems don’t expect to win the suit, especially with a GOP-nominated majority on the Michigan Supreme Court (MSC). That could be used as an issue during the election, just as the MSC’s
ruling released Monday night in favor of the GOP-led Legislature’s Oakland County redistricting plan.

Let’s break that down, 1 sentence at a time:

MIRS learned the lawsuit is part of the House Dems’ campaign message of government reform and GOP “corruption.”

Not “MIRS was told” or “MIRS was informed” but “MIRS learned.”

Not “the lawsuit may be” or “the lawsuit could become” but “the lawsuit is.”

In other words, MIRS is stating, as fact, that the lawsuit is a political tool for the upcoming campaign. On what do they base this statement?

A well-placed source

Ah. An anonymous source. Wasn’t there a MIRS staffer just talking about journalism standards and whatnot? Gosh who was that?

I’m sure it’ll come to me.

Now, if you look at the sentence as a whole:

A well-placed source acknowledged that the Dems don’t expect to win the suit, especially with a GOP-nominated majority on the Michigan Supreme Court (MSC).

You don’t really need a “well-placed source” for that, right? Is it a secret that the Democrats have low expectations of this Supreme Court? Just need to read the press releases really.

Hope MIRS didn’t spend too many favor chips getting that kind of info.

Next.

That could be used as an issue during the election, just as the MSC’s ruling released Monday night in favor of the GOP-led Legislature’s Oakland County redistricting plan.

Yes it could be used. Ruth Johnson’s meddling in elections could be used. Everything the Republicans do, ever, could be used, and here’s hoping it all will be used. So this “could be used” thing is a sentence full of nothing, being presented as evidence to support the first sentence, which was this:

MIRS learned the lawsuit is part of the House Dems’ campaign message of government reform and GOP “corruption.”

In case you are wondering, putting this paragraph back into the context of the entire article does not help clean it up. It is barely connected to the rest of the article, and there is no additional supporting evidence anywhere in the article for this accusation.

* speaking directly to the camera *

If you are the author of that MIRS piece, please sign up for the 83 County Project. You don’t have to blog with us but we can definitely help you improve your writing. And really, wouldn’t that be best for everyone?

There are no cover bands in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Follow me on Twitter - @christinebarry
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