Atlanta Journal Constitution Gets it Wrong About Reed

Atlanta Journal Constitution Gets it Wrong About Reed

Atlanta : GA : USA | Jan 09, 2013 at 12:27 PM PST
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Kasim Reed's normally slow moving Twitter account exploded this morning, and righfully so, amid discovering the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's PolitiFact Georgia page, accused Reed of making a "full flip-flop" for shifting his views on marriage equality.

Georgia Equality sent one of the tweets, re-tweeted by the mayor. Their Executive Director, Jeff Graham is quoted by PolitiFact Georgia column and admitted his organization has not worked closely with the mayor, but that he personally does not believe the Mayors change in stance constitutes a full flip-flop as he never been an opponent of equality measures.

"It's a good thing he evolved on his opinion and changed his opinion, says Graham, "the AJC even gave a little bit of creedance to that by saying that a flip-flop is not necessarily a bad thing. But a lot of folks just read the headline and they're going to get upset about it."

The AJC's PolitiFact Gerogia webpage is home to a "truth-o-meter" and regularly reviews statements of top officials for their factuality. PolitiFact notes it's "truth-o-meter" has no value scale or gives any indication as to how these decisions are weighted outside of the commentary that accompanies the scale.

In examining the information leading to their decision, Politifact Georgia cites Reed has never in his career supported legislation against gay marriage. The column quotes Reed as offering religious reasons for his indecision, only to conclude his actions constitute a major reversal on policy.

Small business owner and metro Atlanta resident Darlene Garcia read the article online and said she wished she could "Thank Mayor Reed for support of the LGBT community, and equality for all." According to Garcia, "It's time for a change, I hope this is a step forward to a vote, and making gay marriage the law.

The real ideological reversal appears to have beenby the AJC. Giving Reed credit for doing what far too many Georgia legislators have not, which is go on record recognizing gay marriage as true marriage.

Why the AJC would attempt to discredit a very popular democratic mayor in the eyes of a very red state is up for debate. The tea leaves tell the South is going to rise again in a very blue way, something the Georgia establishment which includes the AJC, has no desire to see happen. The idea a faux scale, by PolitiFact Georgia's own admission, has no credible value, can't possibly be intended to impart meaningful understanding of local politics to the AJC readers at home or online. So what other motive is left for the South's largest paper to lambast Reed for moving in the direction of the country and the President? Like many puzzling political quandries of late, perhaps it has more to do with the latter.

Lauren Brown Jarvis is based in Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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