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February 27, 2008

Action Help: AP Pushback Needs Another Push

Posted in: Associated Press,Citizen action,Media

We need your help againToday.

Several states have local newspapers which received fewer letters than we would like for our AP pushback to make a nationwide impact.  

Jane asked a few days ago that letters be sent to newspapers carrying AP feed, regarding some odious stenography of GOP talking points shamelessly questioning Sen. Barack Obama’s "patriotism."  (As if that weren’t the most over-used tactic in Republican history.  Yawn.)  And boy, did your letters get noticed (via CQ):

Firedoglake’s Jane Hamsher has launched an email campaign directed to local and national newspapers against the Associated Press’ Nedra Pickler, for her recent story documenting conservative attacks questioning Barack Obama’s patriotism. Ultimately, I think Pickler’s story was one worth reporting, but as TPM notes, the first source in her story is Roger Stone, a disgraced former GOP strategist who has been in the news lately for less-than-savory antics. It’s also not the first time liberal bloggers have turned their sights on Pickler.

Hamsher opens by saying:

It was pretty much world-record speed with which the smears against Barack Obama’s patriotism alley-ooped from the right wing attack machine into the pages of legitimate media, neatly laundered into the AP by Nedra Pickler.

Perhaps Ms. Pickler wouldn’t get attention from liberal bloggers if her "reporting" wasn’t an unquestioned laundering of a GOP talking point blast fax. 

Why did the letter-writing campaign get noticed?  Because — to date — you have sent over 11,800 letters to newspapers all across the country, including well over 1,000 letters each to the NYTimes, the WaPo, USAToday, the LATimes and the WSJ — and even more letters to local newspapers in every single state.  All in the last two days.  You guys rock!

Successful pushback means we need to cover every base, not just the prominant ones, so we are asking you for a little more help today.  If you haven’t yet written letters — especially if you live in OH, PA, FL, NM, CO…pretty much any swing stateplease write one to your local newspapers today.  It’s very easy to do using our handy contact tool.

And now, you can use this new link to send the letter tool to friends, family, neighbors — whomever you think might also be interested in sending a letter telling local newspapers that using AP feed to launder pre-fabricated GOP talking points is not acceptable and not news.  And you are not willing to simply look the other way. 

A number of our readers have already contacted us to say their Letters to the Editor are being published this week. Fantastic job!  If you’ve already written letters, please check the contact tool to see if perhaps you missed a local paper or two.   Every letter counts!

We’ve tried to come up with ways to make this as easy and user-friendly as possible for you to take action.  All it requires of you is to act.  The time to stand up for better reporting — and accountability when it is done badly — is now.  Please write…today!

For some handy tips on Letter to the Editor writing, see this post on Correspondence School.  And please share examples of your letters with all of us in the comments.  Thanks so much!

(YouTube of The Beatles singing "Help!")



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