Media Bias in Reporting FHS Field Trip

Sean McKeown and Sean McKeown

On Monday January 9th, FHS students visited the political events the day prior to the New Hampshire Primary.

When they got back, they noticed a multitude of bad media attention for one particular event. This event was when the students visited Moe Joe’s diner in NH to see Congressman Ron Paul.

The media cooked the event up as everything that it wasn’t. I would know because I was there.

A couple examples of the bad reporting:

Forbes: “The Paul campaign also contributed to the horde by busing in about 100 pro-Paul college students from Massachusetts.”

Reuters: “Prior to Paul’s arrival, a teacher from the Massachusetts high school dressed down about four dozen journalists as if they’d been caught shooting spitballs or smoking in the bathroom. “You’re going to ruin it for all these kids,” he shouted.”

The Reuters article happened to be the worst article of all of them. This article was so bad it was almost funny.

Not to discount the story, but I sat right next to the teachers and I didn’t hear anyone “dress down” any group of reporters. Also I’m having a hard time finding ANYONE that witnessed this.

The article went on to say:

“After spending 15 minutes trying to push his way through the media hordes to greet Massachusetts residents who weren’t old enough to vote anyway, Paul gave up and fled back to his black Chevrolet Suburbans, accompanied by a phalanx of aides and burly security men.”

One of the things that surprised a lot of people were how much reporters were there and how little protection Congressmen Paul had. I witnessed, right in front of me, a reporter trip and fall into his back. That isn’t safe, especially for a man who is 76 years old.

Stefan Herlitz, FHS senior, was upset enough to comment back.

“Your information is clouded. I attended this event,” he began. “Contrary to what you write in this article, nearly EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US will be able to vote in the upcoming election…Get your facts straight. We had every right to be there.”

You don’t even have to take anyone’s word that it was a poorly orchestrated event. You can see it for yourself on Youtube. Two reporters even broke out in a fight, though it was quickly snuffed out.

Milford Daily News reporter Alison McCall interviewed an FHS class on the events of that day. I responded back with a few questions of my own.

“It’s important to cover these events so more information gets through (to the public),” she said.

McCall does set standards, unlike some reporters.

“(The media) shouldn’t invade people’s private lives”

That’s not to be confused with this event though. She agrees that the media had a reason to do what they what they needed to do.

The media has a right to report. It’s called the first amendment. But if you’re going to cover an event, at least tell the truth.