Dennis Neal over at the Staunton News Leader (affectionately called the Slantin' Misleader) wrote a post on his blog about Rhonda Winfield, the mother who lost her 19-year-old Marine son, Lance Cpl. Jason Redifer, in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005.
A Washington Post story earlier in the week relayed how Jim Webb criticized Senator George Allen because of the way he told supporters the story of how Rhonda's son died, and how he had the dog tags in his bedroom where he looked at them every morning to remind him of what this country was up against and the sacrifices made by many. The Post called Rhonda who spoke with them and verified that it was she who was grateful to Senator Allen for getting Jason's story out there.
After reading the Post story, Misleader reporter Joel Baird called Rhonda to question her about it, and she spoke frankly with him as she does with everyone. Joel has covered much of Rhonda's story from the time Jason died so he is very familiar with the family.
Back at the post, Neal thanked Baird for "making it available so quickly" meaning, I presume, Baird hung up with Rhonda and turned around right away to report to Dennis Neal and David Fritz what he had heard.
Baird then wrote a story which ran the next day, and Neal put up a post on the Misleader blog opening the discussion/criticism about Rhonda.
Rhonda heard about it as we drove back to Staunton from Richmond last night. I checked it out and was appalled. Rightside and I felt compelled to respond in defense of our friend which, of course, brought the usual condescending remarks from the familiar liberal posters.
When I added a comment saying I was saddened by Dennis Neal's post because I expected more from him, he shot back a response about my hypocrisy.
The hypocrisy is all in Neal's camp. Senator Allen understands the sensitivity of Rhonda's situation and is always very considerate of her feelings. Not so the Misleader ... which stomped right into it, combat boots and all.
When I thought it couldn't go any lower, the Misleader bellied out to the point where it would have to climb up through a manhole to get into the gutter....