Thursday, May 28, 2009

Courier-Journal botches American Flag story

A Texas woman's Memorial Day observation in the workplace took an odd turn in the last few days involving Louisville-based Kindred Healthcare. The Louisville Courier Journal, however, seems far more interested in parroting Kindred's press release than in covering the real story.

Last week, Debbie McLucas hung a 3' x 5' American flag in shared office space in a Kindred-owned hospital in Mansfield, Texas. She arrived at work Friday to find that a co-worker had taken the flag down. Apparently, the co-worker found the flag offensive. McLucas told CBS News in Dallas she appealed to supervisors at the hospital, but said they told her the flag would have to stay down because of complaints they had received.

Kindred issued a press release yesterday contradicting McLucas' story:
"This issue was simply a dispute between two employees who shared a small workspace, one of whom removed the flag because of its size. It’s important to note that hospital management was not involved in the decision to remove the flag."

And the CJ swallowed the press release unquestioningly:

The fact is that Kindred management may not have been involved in the flag removal, but we don't know that. One of the key players, McLucas, in fact said management told her "patients' families and visitors" had complained as well and that the flag would have to come down.

Sounds like there is much more to this story than the Courier Journal would have its readers believe. We've come to expect anti-American bias from the paper's editorial page, but have to point it out when it continues to show up on the news pages.