Arizona Republic Tweaks Cronkite Quote to End on Positive Note

Layoffs must be affecting judgment over at the Arizona Republic. What else can explain the poor journalistic decisions being made at the state's largest, ever-shrinking daily newspaper?

Greg Patterson of Espresso Pundit picked up on a couple of "What were they thinking?" snippets recently, including one over the weekend that nails the Repub for truncating a quote to fit somebody's political agenda and glowing vision of the late Walter Cronkite. The pull-quote reads,

Cronkite ... devastated President Lyndon Johnson in the wake of the 1968 Tet Offensive by declaring that the United States "was mired in stalemate" in Vietnam.

The original quote ends with, "--when Johnson knew that Tet had been a military triumph."

A couple of weeks ago, the Republic ran the callous sub-headline, "Headed for Divorce?" next to a picture of State Treasurer Dean Martin, whose wife, Kerry, died with the couple's baby son during childbirth on May 26.

While we were contemplating whether blogging about that would doubly insult Martin, Patterson slapped up his own post with the clip shown at right.

In fact, there have been more than a few examples lately of journalistic slippage that have worried us, from the wasted space of the simple-minded, quasi-promotion Danny Seo columns, to look-for-the-ad verbiage in "news" articles to stories about the paper's own circulation that leave out half the relevant facts.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.