Earlier this year Mitt Romney was criticized for removing unflattering passages from editorials published in the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Cincinnati Enquirer. Romney posted the articles on his website, and mailed them out to supporters, without ever clarifying that they had been modified from their original form. The PD and CNN both took the campaign to task for their decision.
It looks like Republican Mike Turner, who is facing a difficult challenge from Democrat Sharen Neuhardt in Ohio’s new 10th District, has chosen the same path as Team Romney.
“Huber Heights mayor backing Turner for Congress”
But on Turner’s website it’s shown as:
“DDN: Democratic mayor bucks party and backs Republican Rep. Turner for Congress”
Which, I’ve been informed, was the previous title used in a blog post on DDN’s website.
More importantly, they also removed the following three paragraphs that were critical of Turner:
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in April added the Neuhardt-Turner race to its list of 13 “Emerging Races” — races where candidates are becoming increasing competitive.
“The only endorsement that really matters is the voters on election day,” said Neuhardt’s spokesman Michael McGovern after hearing about their fellow Democrat’s endorsement of Turner.
“Congressman Turner has to defend his record under his watch — 50,000 jobs lost in the Miami Valley, and he’s voted against military pay raises but voted to give himself five pay raises. The list goes on and on,” McGovern said. “That’s what people care about, and what people will be voting on come November.”
There’s nothing on the page to let the reader know that these important paragraphs had been removed. And everything – a (modified) title and byline – that indicates this piece is in its full, original form and not merely excerpts. It’s deceptive at best. And definitely not an oversight.
There’s no doubt this race is heating up. According to a recent press release from the Neuhardt campaign, they “out-raised Rep. Turner by a margin of more than 2-to-1 in the first quarter of the year” and continue to lead in total fundraising. Could this be the reason Turner has chosen to manipulate the news?
Controlling the message is one thing, Mr. Turner. Deceiving readers is another thing all together.