Update 1/6/08: Be sure to follow the link for the Volunteer Voter.com below, you will find the comments there very instructive.
Yesterday we reported on attacks on author Mark Steyn by Canadian Muslims and even the government, essentially branding him a racist for undisputed facts on Muslim and European birth rates that he published in his best seller, America Alone. Now, Shelbyville, TN Times-Gazette reporter, Brian Mosely, who did a Herculean reporting job in recent weeks in a series on the tension that exists between the growing Somali community, lured to this southern town by employment at a Tyson’s Food plant, and the residents of Shelbyville.
In fact, early in the series, readers, and those commenting on the paper’s on-line forum, accused Mr. Mosely of being too soft on the Somalis. Either read the original series or go to our many posts on the topic, and judge for yourself. I think you will agree the reporting is straightforward. While comments are pretty flamboyant, one can hardly blame the reporter for citizens taking an opportunity to vent after what appears to be several years of growing frustration.
In a letter to the editor this past week, Robert Allison said:
First of all, Brian Mosely should not have been selected to author a news series profiling a racial / religious group because he has made clear in his personal blog and other writings that he cannot be impartial toward races and religions other than his own.
So, every reporter in America will now have litmus tests where some Committee for the Preservation of Political Correctness will scrutinize a reporters past writings and make a determination if he or she will be permitted to report on a certain controversial topic. But that’s not the whole story about this building witch hunt; certainly a tough reporter will just shrug off a highly critical letter to the editor.
The other issue is that people with personal axes to grind are whipping up a frenzy and building bonfires ready to burn this so-called “racist” reporter at the stake. Here is a blog called Volunteer Voter.com trying desperately to strike the matches. Note that Mr. Mosely’s editor defends the paper and reveals that those making the charges have previously brought a lawsuit against this reporter and the paper.
As Brian’s (acting) editor, I question whether Katie [Katie Allison Granju] is in a position to question Brian’s journalistic ethics. What she didn’t tell you is that her family has a prior legal dispute with Brian and the newspaper, which it’s inappropriate for me to discuss in this forum. We ran a blistering letter to the editor [quoted above] from another member of the family yesterday, which accused Brian of being a racist, without pointing this connection out, but if the family is going to dogpile on Brian I think it needs to be said.
Mr. Mosely is extremely fortunate to have an editor like John Carney who has the fortitude to stand up against this nonsense and forcefully defend his reporter. You must see Mr. Carney’s column yesterday here.
I’m betting there is more to come for this reporter who dared to discuss the taboo subject of Muslim Somalis in small town USA. What’s next, will Mr. Mosely and his editor have a little visit from the Race Relations Reeducation Committee for Silencing Wayward Racist Reporters (RRRCSWRR)?