Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Smearing Brownback

In today's Lawrence Journal-World, letter writer Phil Minkin writes the following:

"After an unfavorable tweet by an 18-year-old high school senior, a Brownback henchman, whose job it must be to monitor social media, sniffing out criticism, contacted the girl’s high school principal seeking some retribution."

This is factually incorrect. As the Journal-World also noted today, "When the governor’s office saw the tweet during monitoring of social media comments, it was reported to Youth in Government officials." News reports over the weekend also noted that the governor's office contacted the Youth in Government program.

There is no indication that Brownback's staff ever contacted the student's principal. There is also no indication that the staff pressured the Youth in Government program to contact the student's principal, which it did. The only person who attempted to punish the student was the principal. If the Brownback staff sought retribution against the student, it seems to me that they would have contacted the principal themselves. They did not.

While the purpose of a letter to the editor section is to allow readers to express their opinions, those opinions should be based on facts. In this case, Mr. Minkin's opinions were not based on facts, and the Journal-World was fully aware of what the facts were.

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