Local media on Rosenthal

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Rick Casey penned yet another column that takes shots at Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal on Wednesday, continuing a pattern of coverage by the anti-death-penalty Chronicle of tying Rosenthal negatively to the ongoing controversy of the police crime lab (and frequently misrepresenting or underrepresenting his views).

Casey is an editorialist of sorts, which gives him some cover for his opinions I suppose. But when every column treats Rosenthal so negatively or — in the case of this Casey column — effectively serves as a press release for Rosenthal’s inexperienced and flawed opponent, a careful media watcher can’t help but wonder if an agenda is at work, especially given the newspaper’s efforts to paint a convicted murderer as a nice guy who repented in prison after meeting some really swell people:

Though he doesn’t want to die, the boyish-looking Green expressed gratitude for the lessons he learned from some of the most violent criminals in the state.

“There are a lot of great men here,” he said. “They taught me things I wouldn’t have learned otherwise. They taught me about responsibility and respect and how to be a human being.”

Presumably, he wasn’t hanging out with these great men.

Judy Stokes, on the other hand, provides some balance for the Houston Community Newspapers, in the form of an interview with Rosenthal. The article is worth reading in its entirety.

It’s nice to see this sort of coverage from a local media outlet. It’s a welcome contrast from the Chronicle‘s efforts to portray Rosenthal as one of their “bad guys” in news and editorial coverage. Ultimately, savvy news consumers need enough information to decide whether Rosenthal merits criticism, praise, or something in between. The Chronicle hasn’t done a great job providing that information.

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Kevin Whited is co-founder and publisher of blogHOUSTON. Follow him on twitter: @PubliusTX