Reporting on the Rove debate

Re: Rove knocks health care, ‘pretentious’ YPU (Sept 9): At the Yale Political Union debate Tuesday, students pressed Karl Rove in questions and speeches to back up his criticisms of the health care bill, claiming that his facts were as fraudulent as the invented “death panels.” What a disappointment to see that the News’ coverage skipped over his assertions to report only on his antics and one-liners. The kiss he shared with the chairman of the Progressive Party may make a good lede, but the News allowed Rove’s clowning to eclipse the substance of the debate.

The cover article didn’t address the content of Rove’s speech on the front page, and, in the sidebar of quotes, let Rove’s assertions stand without question. Among his distortions, Rove implied that the new health care law would force citizens to pay for the care of illegal immigrants. Although, as was the case before the law was passed, the government would cover trauma services in emergency rooms regardless of immigration status, Obama’s bill does not expand coverage to illegal immigrants in any way.

Reprinting Rove’s false claims without comment or ignoring his claims entirely is an irresponsible way for a newspaper to treat an influential politician. Objective journalists do have room to discuss objective facts.

Leah Libresco

Sept. 8

The writer is a senior in Jonathan Edwards college, the former president of the Yale Political Union and a staff columnist for the News.