I say it all the time, we've done our job right when in the same day, on the same stories, when we're accused of being too conservative/right AND liberal/left by viewers. When this happens this means we've aired the story with all sides/angles represented. Yeah for unbiased, fair journalism!

Unfortunately, in the issue of referencing the president in our stories we will always be conservative/right for the next 4 - 8 years, as we were always liberal/left during the last 8 years. The difference though between the callers during former President Bush's term and the callers now for President Obama is I've now been personally accused of being racist, instead of just disrespectful. The callers don't even stop to breathe as they yell and rant horrible things as they blame me for spreading racism for stories where Mr. Obama, instead of President Obama, is used.

These viewers have either blocked out, or have never paid enough attention to, how former President Bush was addressed by media, this station, any other network, or newspapers. I can't stress enough that the policy has not changed! The policy always has been: President (name) on first reference and Mr. (name) on second reference.

Using Mr. on the second reference is a sign of respect because in any other story for any other person from a head of state to the man on the street, the full name is used on the first reference, but on the second the last name is used only. If my name was used it would be "Misty Montano says..." on first reference, then "Montano also recommends" on the second reference.

It is true that as of Nov. 14, 2008 the Associated Press did change up the style for referencing people in stories, but those changes could be said to add respect and at the same time be disrespectful. I found the below article The Tines and Democrat newspaper published Feb. 18, 2008 as a response to what sounds like similar complaint calls that I've received. The article explains not only it's policy, but discusses the CBS policy and the Associate Press changes.


I'm tired of explaining this and disgusted at how mean some people are. Were these people not raised properly? Would their mothers approve of using such language and having such rage towards me just because I pick up the phone? I've now added being called racist to the list of reasons to automatically hang up the phone immediately!