Chi Trib’s page 3–dominating story “`And they call me unpatriotic'” about John Murtha, “the gruff Marine and Vietnam War veteran,” is laughably partisan, a feature story in search of an op-ed page or maybe Trib’s own Perspective section, where reporters get to sound off. The difference is, we know it’s sounding off in Perspective, whereas on page 3 of the front section, even on Sunday, we do expect news with at least a patina of fairness and balance. As it is, we have a campaign piece for Murtha and/or a daub of anti-war puffery.
It’s all Murtha — “spin from the White House” is the claim of chaos ensuing an Iraq pullout — and Geo. McGovern. Both are presented as heroes, with naught about chaos that ensued our Viet Nam pullout and certainly nothing about Murtha’s Abscam history that might for some readers, maybe, influence their respect for his credibility. The picture is a heartbreaker — grieving gold star mother leaning on Murtha in tears — a sort of photo essay in itself. There’s no other side to this story as reporter Tim Jones has crafted it.