On today's date in The Beacon archives, we published:•Open Letter to Mike Wilson, Tea Party Candidate (2010)
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Posted by The Dean of Cincinnati
Photo courtesy of here.
Peter Bronson, the self-published vanity author and columnist for The Cincinnati Enquirer, has his very own blog entitled “Bronson is always right.” On July 1st, however, his political hackery reached a new low when he used a doctored photo—apparently without knowing the image had been thoroughly debunked—in an attempt to make a hit on Al Franken, the Democratic Senator from Minnesota. The piece includes the picture to your right, with the phrase “Is this who you want making decisions about your health care?” But the photo is a verified fake!
Several years ago, ThinkProgress published this item, showing the origins of this doctored fake:
The news release was accompanied by this photograph, showing Franken dressed up like a baby bunny, wearing adult diapers and clutching a fluffy white teddy bear.
Andy Barr, director of Franken’s Midwest Values PAC, confirmed, “The picture is a fake.” The Ohio Republican Party used a 2004 AP photo of Franken for the doctored image:
Interestingly, the quote includes two links to none other than the Enquirer’s Politics Extra blog—apparently showing how the picture is a fake—but the links are from their old blog and no longer redirect properly. However, you can find the original item in the Internet Archive here, signed by Jon Craig.
Apparently, Peter Bronson doesn’t even follow his own paper’s political coverage. And at the end of his blog item in question, there is no indication that he knows better regarding the photo:
The new Franken-Senate may not be as congenial as his old cast and crew on Saturday Night Live. There will be defections, rejections, betrayals and walk-outs. And if they let Franken be Franken, he might embarrass his party and become a kick-me sign on the back of Democrats at election time. Meanwhile, Democrats are now running the federal Titanic and can no longer blame the icebergs on Republicans.
Or Franken might surprise us and become a pretty good Senator. (Cue the canned laughter.)
For now, if Republicans can find their misplaced sense of humor, there must be some great ads to be made from Franken’s clips and quips. Such as:
Is this who you want making decisions about your health care?
The phrase “Franken’s clips and quips” introduces the photo as if it belongs to Franken—either a complete fabrication, or a huge error. Neither is appropriate for the blog associated with a major daily paper, even if written by a hack columnist.
Maybe there are other reasons, besides political partisanship, that make Bronson so jealous of Al Franken. After all, Franken has books on the New York Times Best Seller list:
Peter Bronson’s books, Cincinnati, For Pete’s Sake, a collection of his Enquirer columns and ,Behind the Lines: The Untold Story of the Cincinnati Riots, are both self-published by “Chili Dog Press.”
Meanwhile, a NewsBank search didn’t produce any reviews of either book.
Whatever the reason, the behavior is totally inappropriate. So I just sent this email to Bronson, and to Tom Callinan at The Enquirer.
Dear Mr. Bronson,
I am writing to inform you that your recent blog item, “Minnesota - the joke is on you,” includes information that has been thoroughly debunked in 2006—and interestingly the information was debunked by Jon Craig on the Politics Extra blog. I would like to request formally, therefore, a correction and an apology on your blog for misleading your readers.
You included a photo of Al Franken where he appeared to be holding a stuffed animal and wearing diapers. However, that is a doctored photo. Here’s the proof from your own news organization: http://tinyurl.com/p2oftv
You introduced this doctored photo without making any indication of its status as a fake. In fact, you suggested otherwise: “For now, if Republicans can find their misplaced sense of humor, there must be some great ads to be made from Franken’s clips and quips.” The phrase “Franken’s clips and quips” indicates that Franken owns the “clip” you provided, namely the doctored photo. But that is not true. The picture is a fake, and your item totally misleads your readers—unacceptable even for a columnist.
Please advise what steps you intend to take to remedy the situation, and I look forward to reading your reply.
[The Dean of Cincinnati]
I will update you as soon as I hear anything from The Enquirer.
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