Media Bias: Why did Santa Fe New Mexican edit me out of their article on social media and the legislative session?

Monday afternoon I received an email from a reporter of the Santa Fe New Mexican.  The email read in part:

I’m doing a story about the role of social media in the recent New Mexico legislative session and would like to interview the person in charge of your Twitter updates regarding NM. IF you are interested, please call me ASAP at (505) 986-3017. Thanks. Julie Ann Grimm, The Santa Fe New Mexican. jgrimm@sfnewmexican.com

Ms. Grimm received my response via email as I declined a phone interview at that time.  Tuesday morning an article by the SFNM about social media and the past legislative session was brought to my attention by a conservative group on Twitter.  The article portrayed my party and the conservative movement as ineffective on the social networks when it came to activism.  To begin with  Ms. Grimm’s article gives lengthy paragraphs to leftist organizations and media while only two belonging to the conservatives are mentioned as having any impact on Twitter.

As a Republican I am active on the social networks working with national and New Mexico groups as well as Republican candidates on social media and internet relations projects; New Mexico Republicans in particular are lacking in this area, but articles painting us as incapable as this article does are unnecessary.  While Governor Martinez (who has been inactive on the social networks over a year) is mentioned a couple times, Republican Lieutenant Governor John Sanchez is not given a single line, though he has often tweeted about constituents visiting him in the legislature and pieces about popular legislation which has passed.

As the SFNM article states, the social networks had an important impact on legislation, but (as is not made clear) the Republican right organized to oppose HB-77 on the social networks as well.  Between Facebook and Twitter we got the word out quickly:

Take House Bill 77, for example. The measure to impose background checks on all firearms buyers at gun shows had made it through the House, but Sen. Richard Martinez, D-Española, hadn’t put it on the Senate Judiciary Committee’s agenda for a hearing and was rumored to have told a constituent he wouldn’t put it on the agenda. While this might have spelled a quiet death for the legislation, organizing and news reports referenced in social media turned up the heat.

Martinez put the matter on his committee’s list the next day. The bill — one that had bipartisan support and that the governor said she would sign — eventually died in the last minutes of the Senate floor session during a Republican filibuster.

Breaking the mold are the likes of handles such as @politixfireball, which has nearly 24,000 followers and hits national issues as well as local ones. Gov. Susana Martinez reportedly has a communications staffer assigned to update social media.

The article further details the effort on Twitter and how it was used to bully Representative Nate Gentry who was supporting Gov. Martinez’ drivers license bill:

But Pat Davis, director of Progress Now NM, said the take-away lesson is that people took action. Hundreds of calls to Martinez’ office happened because of connectivity through email and social media websites, he said. Likewise, when the liberal nonprofit tweeted a House member’s cellphone number to invite calls about his stance on immigrant driver’s licenses, the lawmaker complained that he got so many calls he couldn’t use his phone that day.

Progress Now NM was the first account to tweet Gentry’s personal cell phone number followed by Occupy New Mexico (more on that movement which is tied to the Democrat Party of New Mexico here).  I had a discussion with the New Mexico Occupy movement account the day of that tweet.  Many journalists had questions tweeting Rep. Gentry’s personal cell which could be against Twitter’s terms of service.  Although I have much criticism for Gentry due to his moderate stands and terrible decision-making (especially this legislative session in regard to HB-77), encouraging people to call him in this manner was inappropriate.  If my personal cell were tweeted it would be a violation of Twitter’s TOS as it has not been made public.  In Rep. Gentry’s case, his cell could be easily found when Googled, thus it could be considered ‘public.’  Releasing the phone number was questionable and a low form of bullying pulled by the left.Tuesday afternoon a friend I had sent the SFNM article to asked where I had been mentioned in the article.  After a quick read, I noticed the online article we were discussing had been edited– it was the same article I had read in the morning, but the following paragraph was now omitted:

Breaking the mold are the likes of handles such as @politixfireball, which has nearly 24,000 followers and hits national issues as well as local ones. Gov. Susana Martinez reportedly has a communications staffer assigned to update social media.

The bias of the media against conservatives and Republicans became even more clear with this step.  While accurately reporting facts is the job of the media, pushing an agenda and cutting out pieces which do not fit with the agenda are not.Why was a paragraph mentioning a conservative political activist such as myself edited out?  Is mentioning a Republican and conservative blogger who dabbles with Twitter taboo?  What will the Santa Fe New Mexicans’ reasoning be?  Why the edit job on the article?If you have questions similar to mine I would encourage you to join me in reaching out to the Santa Fe New Mexican, Julie Ann Grimm, and the New Mexico media in general.  Send the New Mexican and Grimm a tweet, using their handles @thenewmexican and @JulieAnnGrimm.  Also try using the hashtag #NMMediaBias.

**  UDATE  **

Read the rest of the story here:

Media Bias: Santa Fe New Mexican writer taking orders from the left?

Media Bias: The rationale behind the Santa Fe New Mexican’s censorship

5 comments

  1. I’m posting this message in response to your numerous Tweets alleging some kind of conspiracy at play. Please note that I did not receive any response from @politixfireball after I sought your comment.
    My goal was to give our readers a slice of the social media that was prevalent during the legislative session. An early version of the story featured a paragraph about this Twitter handle and about the governor’s. When no one from either handle replied to give more context, I removed those two sentences late that evening.
    The version that originally published to our website contained those sentences as well as spelling error in the word “whip” that we caught in time for the print edition. That content should have been replaced online with the final print version of the story before midnight. A system error prevented this from happening. Late the next day, we made the identical changes on our web version.

    Like

    1. You would like to deny that you received the following email, Ms. Grimm? I am alleging no conspiracy, only seeking truth.

      To: jgrimM@sfnewmexican.com

      Ms. Grimm,

      Thank you for your interest in interviewing me regarding the legislative session and the role of social media. Unfortunately at this time I am not available for interview via phone, but I appreciate your contacting me.

      If I can be of assistance in another way please let me know.

      -Politix Fireball

      Like

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