Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Debra Saunders: Wolf isn't a journalist

Debra J. Saunders, the Chron's conservative columnist, writes in today's edition that Josh Wolf isn't a journalist but rather a "blogger with an agenda and a camera, who sold a 'selected portion' of the video of the demonstration, which left a San Francisco police officer with a fractured skull, to KRON-TV."

Saunders says, "a camera and a Web site do not a journalist make, any more than shooting a criminal makes a vigilante a cop." She disputes the ACLU's claim that Wolf was "covering" anarchist groups as a journalist -- she points out that on his videoblog he calls himself an "artist, an activist, an ararchist and an archivist."

Saunders also found an angle other media has missed -- the police officer who Wolf purportedly photographed being attacked is gay. Saunders writes:
    "What if he were attacked, not because he is a cop, but because he is a gay man? [Officer Peter] Shields, who is gay, said people here would be 'furious.' He added, 'If this chaos happened in the Castro, there would not be this hoopla, if you will, around the Josh Wolf videotape.' But there is no public outrage, he added, 'just because I put on a uniform.'

    "Alas, in the Special City, attacking a gay man is a hate crime, while attacking a gay cop can be a cause celebre."

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