Your View – Disappointed with The Times


Having read your front page article about John McCain and Vicki Iseman, (Alexandria Times 2/28-3/6) Im not very pleased to have your newspaper arriving in my mailbox.  

Until recently, Id kept some of my illusions that print journalism is a cut above what shows up on the Internet. Thats another problem (or perhaps triumph, in your eyes) with this piece of yours: it will be loitering out there on the Internet indefinitely for McCains enemies to quote. 

In the past Ive liked your paper, but this article is journalism at its lowest. The reputation that has really been damaged it is that of The Alexandria Times.
It was a bit disingenuous to title yourself a staff writer  in the byline, since Im guessing that as editor and publisher, you have more clout about what gets into the paper than the staff.

Also, the online article differs significantly from the print editionwhats up with that? It did give you more room to quote your lobbyist who asked not to be identified at greater length. 

First, you point out that the New York Times was criticized  for relying on anonymous sources, then you go ahead and do the same thing. What kind of journalism is that?

While mocking the media frenzy that surrounded the publication of the story in the New York Times, you participated in it. The tone of attempted breeziness was forced, at best. What in the world does a 1987 movie have to do with any of this except that it was set in Washington DC?  What do you have against Camaron Station? You did manage to make it sound like an overpriced substitute for James Carvilles trailer park. What do you have against Vicki Iseman? She works long hours and doesnt own a dog? 

Well then, lets tag her with a scarlet letter. Using your standards, I feel free to quote unnamed sources  that you wrote this article because youve got a huge grudge against her. After all, she spurned your advances, or maybe dumped you for another lover.  Why else would you so eagerly invade the privacy of an Alexandria resident who is not a public figure? Unidentified sources can say anything about anybody, cant they? 

 Finally, what do you have against John McCain? I believe weve gotten to the bottom of it havent we? He really might have what it takes to defeat the Democratic candidate in November, whoever that may be.  So youre a partisan journalist in the  tradition of James Callender. You can look him up. You might even take the time to look up the Washington Wizard who lived in Camaron Station. Wait, I just did it for you. It was Andray Blatche. He was shot in an attempted car jacking near his home. No wonder he moved away. Ms Iseman was only mugged, so perhaps shell stay.

Joan Sweeney