It’s not just Helena that’s had to deal with Randy Rickman using his position as newspaper publisher to impose his views on a community. He did it at his last job, too. In a piece “from the Publisher’s Desk at the Hanford Sentinel, Rickman, citing (and basically paraphrasing) a letter from James Dobson, claimed that then Senator Obama voted against saving the lives of “babies that managed to survive” abortions:
I think it is easy for people to say they are "pro-choice" because they don’t fully understand what that statement advocates. Some would say that Sen. Barack Obama is pro-choice, so he is looking out for the rights of women. Did you know that when Obama was a state senator in Illinois, he voted four times in three years against legislation that would have saved the lives of babies that managed to survive the abortion process?
Did you know that Mr. Dobson and Mr. Rickman are lying? The Washington Post called it back then:
Reasonable people can differ on whether the 1975 Illinois state law needed to be strengthened, and the likely effect of the various "Born Alive" bills rejected by the Illinois legislature between 2001 and 2003. But it is unfair to accuse Obama of supporting the withdrawal of medical treatment from babies born as the result of a botched abortion. He has never adopted such an "extreme" position.
I don’t object to Mr. Rickman having a point of view; I don’t object to him expressing it. When, however, his personal views influence public health and information, he is crossing an important journalistic line.
Where’s the integrity, Mr. Rickman? It seems like some wise women in our community had a pretty good answer for responding to Rickman back in 2010.
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