Media outlets highlight Democrats' outrage over Rove comment; most neglect to mention outrage from 9-11 families

››› ››› NICOLE CASTA

In reports on the most recent controversial remarks by deputy White House chief of staff Karl Rove, several media outlets have characterized the outrage over the remarks as coming solely from Democrats, when in fact a nonpartisan group of 9-11 families also strongly condemned the comments.

During a June 22 speech before the New York Conservative Party, Rove stated: "Conservatives saw the savagery of 9-11 and the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9-11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers."

In response to Rove's comments, Families of September 11 issued a statement that called the comments "divisive," "offensive" and "not welcome":

As families whose relatives were victims of the 9/11 terror attacks, we believe it is an outrage that any Democrat, any Republican, any conservative or any liberal, stakes a "high ground" position based upon the September 11th death and destruction. Doing so assumes that all those who died and their loved ones would agree. In truth, some would and some would not. By definition the conduct is divisive and, because it is intended to be self-serving and politicizes 9/11, it is offensive.

We are calling on Karl Rove to resist his temptations and stop trying to reap political gain in the tragic misfortune of others. His comments are not welcome.

However, only a handful of reports mentioned the Families of September 11 condemnation of Rove's comments, including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Knight Ridder Newspapers, while most reports cited only Democrats denouncing the comments.

The Journal-Constitution reported on June 24:

Relatives of 9/11 victims posted a statement on their Families of Sept. 11 Web site saying Rove's statements were "not welcome" and his conduct "divisive and ... offensive." They urged Rove "to resist his temptations and stop trying to reap political gain in the tragic misfortunes of others."

Also on June 24, Knight Ridder reported:

A group of families whose relatives died on Sept. 11 issued a statement condemning the politicization of the tragedy. "We are calling on Karl Rove to resist his temptations and stop trying to reap political gain in the tragic misfortune of others. His comments are not welcome," their statement said.

By contrast, the Associated Press, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times never mentioned the Families of September 11 opposition in their June 24 coverage of Rove's remarks. Among TV outlets, June 23 reports on ABC's World News Tonight, NBC's Nightly News, CNN's Inside Politics, and Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume also failed to mention the group; the CBS Evening News did not report on Rove's comments at all.

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy, Terrorism
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