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On today's date in The Beacon archives, we published:

Elementary schools, reading comprehension, and myelination (2010)
Interview with Charlie Winburn, City Council Candidate, 2009 (2009)
Tom Brinkman Does Not Support The Heimlich Jail Tax (2006)

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Monday, July 06, 2009


Bronson is always right—NOT!

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:

*Rush Limbaugh is a Big, Fat Idiot (Publisher: Delacorte)
*Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them (Publisher: Dutton)

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.

Respectfully,

[The Dean of Cincinnati]

I will update you as soon as I hear anything from The Enquirer.


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  1. Citizens Against Joe Deters says:

    How soon will it be before Mr. Bronson gets his pink slip (also known as an extended furlough)?

    Peter B.
    Kimball P.
    Jane P.
    Sharon C.
    Tom C.

    Don’t let the door hit you in the butt cheeks on the way out.

  2. Central Committee in Charge of Everything says:

    CAJD, yea on all but Jane & Sharon. They’re both good reporters.

    Also, a polite request to all to keep the thread on topic. This is such a tasty example of Peter’s tendency to allow his rabid political outlook & massive ego to overtake his otherwise capable reporting skills. T’would be a shame to miss such an opportunity. We thank you for your co-operation.

  3. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) says:

    That’s Franken’s face, but I think that might be David Vitter‘s body in the diaper…

  4. Republicans for Personal Responsibility says:

    From Bronson’s blog: http://tinyurl.com/ntpv4e

    PeterBronson wrote:

    Yes, the photo of Franken in a diaper was apparently altered. But it’s not exacly a big reach to believe it could have come from one of his SNL skits. It resonates because people find it easy to see Franken that way.

    7/6/2009 10:46 AM EDT

  5. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) says:

    If he wrote that in the comments, buried, it is not enough.  He needs to update the main posting!

    Just read that comment.  It sounds like a justification…

  6. Resonate This says:

    Bronson short: “It could have happened so what difference does it make?”

    Completely unacceptable, Peter, and you know it. Now you’ve got the dirty diaper.

  7. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) says:
  8. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) says:

    Romanesko at Poynter picked up the story!

    http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=45

  9. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) says:

    Eschaton apparently gets TONS of readers.  Lots of links from here today:

    http://www.eschatonblog.com/2009/07/wanker-of-day_06.html

  10. You Go Dean! says:

    This is what OUR Dean does best! Love it when you do things like this and don’t let go!

    Stories like this, are what you do so well and what you should stay focused on.

    Shine on!!!

    Love it!

  11. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) says:

    Yes, the photo of Franken in a diaper was apparently altered. But it’s not exacly a big reach to believe it could have come from one of his SNL skits. It resonates because people find it easy to see Franken that way.

    There’s a damn good reason why Stephen Colbert’s ‘truthiness’ was added to the dictionary, and it’s because of integrity-challenged hacks like Bronson.

    There will be no correction and no apology. Bronson will say that his post was intended as satire and he’s only sorry if any of us bleeding-hearts overreacted because we misinterpreted the hilarity.

  12. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) says:

    So what’s new?  Bronson is proud to be an idiot, and the Cincinnati Enquirer has no shame about being a right-wing rag.  It has been this way forever in Cincinnati and I have no illusions that it will ever change.

  13. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) says:

    Bronson is defective, however he was one of the reasons I do not read the enquier anymore.

  14. howie says:

    My local newspaper once ran a column on its op-ed page about how the governement was going to tax emails.  When I pointed out that it was a hoax and that the columnist had based his entire rant on a lie I was told by the editor that I didn’t understand the difference between a column and a news item.  I agreed that I didn’t if a column permits one to make up “facts”.

    The columnist gave the exact same type of apology that Bronson has used; that thne email tax wasn’t true, but that it was just the type of thing government would do so the column was still valid.

  15. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) says:

    It’s important to call these scumbags out when they lie, distort and engage in lazy ideologically slanted journalism.  I get that.

    But I think the larger point is missing here.  That is, if the photo was real, and not fake, so what?  He was a comedian, it was in his job description to do goofy things from time to time.  What would be the message in showing a goofy photo of Al Franken the Comedian?  Like he is going to dress up in diapers and bring a teddy bear to the Senate?

    Meanwhile when a guy actually DOES go to a hooker and dress up in diapers, they bend over backwards making excuses for him because he is a Republican.

    (Comment approval code: “high69” =) )

  16. .Cincy..Capell. says:

    With the Fishwrap Enquirer laying off another 100 people in the next month here’s hoping that Bronson will go. He gets paid a big fat salary and contributes nothing to that “news"paper.

  17. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) says:

    I am so glad they got rid of that pompous ass.  And thanks.  Anyone who says they are always right is always WRONG.

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