Like many people who read your recent correction of a mailer from the Davis campaign, I was a little confused about how he misrepresented your paper’s report. It is very common for campaigns to cite a paper as a source, but then to put their own interpretation on what the paper reported. Your paper reported that, “John Snow stated that the funding that was taken away from Planned Parenthood while the General Assembly was led by a Republican majority, not only places stress on services such as abortion.....” So, the paper reported this and the Davis mailer simply used you as a source where someone could find proof of it.
Davis characterized this criticism as an attack, but he was not suggesting that your newspaper did so. He also listed the amount that was cut, but the use of your paper was just to show that Snow was critical of this cut. A more important story out of this should be John Snow’s response to the “correction.” He accused Davis’ campaign of lying, which is silly. Choosing the word attack instead of criticize is not lying. That was simply a subjective term used to point out Snow’s criticism. Adding the actual amount that was cut is not a lie either, but just more information that may be useful to the voter.
After the accusation of lying, Snow himself seems to lie, or at best he is very confused. He says, “The Hyde Amendment prohibits taxpayer money being spent for abortion services. Jim Davis knows this.” There are two problems with this statement. First, the Hyde Amendment only prohibits federal money from being used for abortion. Second, in Snow’s initial statement, given to us by the Macon County News, he was critical of Davis because the cuts to Planned Parenthood would place “stress on services such as abortion.” You can’t have it both ways, John. Either this cut would affect abortion, or it is illegal for the money to be used that way. Which is it?
Tommy Hildreth — Franklin, N.C.