JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville police continue to investigate reports of a threatening note left on the door of the Duval Democratic Party addressed to its leader Daniel Henry.
It says in part “We want blood. You lost the election..Be back later.”
Surveillance video from Saturday afternoon shows a man come out of the woods wearing a gas mask and wearing gloves and post the letter on the back door of the office.
Reporting of the incident by News4Jax sparked a political argument on social media by many viewers and online users who said News4Jax wouldn’t have even covered the story if the tables were turned.
“If the shoe was on the other foot so to speak, this wouldn’t even be news,” one person wrote on social media.
Keyboard activists claiming our news station only covers anti-Republican stories.
“The Media sucks report both sides!!!” wrote another user.
“Not one word when the country was on fire. NOT ONE WORD, of condemnation. Where was the media?” wrote another.
Let’s set the record straight.
Sure, News4Jax interviewed Henry, his face was on the threat, after all.
But we also reached out to the GOP which quickly sent us a statement condemning the crime.
But again, the accusations that News4Jax wouldn’t cover the incident if it happened to the Republicans — that’s wrong.
News4Jax was there in February when a man ran through a tent near GOP volunteers.
Reporters covered the crime extensively — the suspect in court, the reaction and the aftermath.
“The second that I found out the incident happened where someone drove through a voter registration tent, I was right on camera denouncing the fact that it happened,” Henry said. “And I talked to Dean multiple times throughout that experience to ensure that everyone was doing OK.”
Dean as in Dean Black – his counterpart at the Duval GOP.
“What’s happening in the national media is tarnishing, unfairly in many cases, the reputation of local journalists. And that is a shame,” Black said.
Black says there are outlets with biased news and there’s also misinformation that local reporters aren’t covering political stories fairly. And he says that’s not right.
“Certainly the heart of journalism beats at the local level in our communities,” Black said. “And that needs to be nurtured and not the subject of misguided criticism and attacks.”
Unnecessary jabs that JU Public Policy Institute Director and News4Jax political analyst Rick Mullaney says hurt the community including those throwing the punches.
“We are seeking to be an honest broker. We’re seeking to be objective. Quite frankly I think the public appreciates that and I think the public wants that,” Mullaney said. “[Chief Justice John] Roberts at his confirmation hearing a few years ago used to say that his role as a judge was not to be a partisan, to not wear a red or blue jersey, but to call balls and strikes.”
It’s called being objective. News4Jax reporters aren’t perfect, but it’s what we strive for every day.