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Monday, February 15, 2010

Unsourced Rhetoric

Leave it to the folks at HotAir to title a lead headline with an unsourced "quote" in order to connect Obama with the murders at the University of Alabama.

An article in the Boston Herald in the headlines section of the fringe-conservative site.



The article paints the portrait of a troubled woman, no doubt, but there are referenced quotations from those that new Amy Bishop - a woman who allegedly went on a shooting spree at the University of Alabama - that provide valid information to the report. It was toward the end of the article that this rather odd "quote" was referenced.

A family source said Bishop, a mother of four children - the youngest a third-grade boy - was a far-left political extremist who was “obsessed” with President Obama to the point of being off-putting.

But Mercedes Paz, a Brookline biochemist who also oversaw Bishop’s work in 1993, described her as a friend and a likable woman.


Notice how the unsourced quote was immediately followed by a detailed one?

I'm not entirely sure what the writers, Laurel J. Sweet, Jessica Van Sack, Jessica Fargen and Ira Kantor, were intending by putting in this specious piece of data, but it certainly fits into the conservative meme that Obama supporters are unhinged zombies ready to strike at a moments notice.

If these writers expect their reporting to be taken seriously, leave out the conjecture and stick with facts.

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