Letter: Media did their duty
Politicians caught saying something insensitive or silly defend themselves by blaming the media for reporting what they said. Rep. Noel Campbell recently used this approach to defend Rep. David Stringer.
Campbell admits that Stringer’s remarks were “clearly racially insensitive” and he wholeheartedly disagrees with them. But then he goes on to blame the media for reporting them. He calls the reporting “an attack on our First Amendment rights.”
On the contrary, the media – The Daily Courier, Arizona Republic, Phoenix New Times, KTAR, and others – simply did their duty. They informed the public as to the expressed beliefs of their elected representative. Stringer spoke freely and candidly to a group of college students. The media published the complete context of his remarks. If anything, the media amplified Stringer’s constitutionally protected First Amendment right.
Prominent public officials from Stringer’s own party found his expressed beliefs to be to be objectionable and exercised their right to say so. This is the essence of the First Amendment.
Springer represents the people of Legislative District 1 and his remarks reflect upon us all. Campbell is a Vietnam military veteran and is probably familiar with Article 134 of the UCMJ. It states in part: “all conduct of a nature to bring discredit….” Stringer is our elected representative; his remarks reflect upon our district. His most recent racially insensitive remarks bring discredit upon the district. His words have been duly reported.