Dear Mr. Dubow
The intent of this petition is to put the Tennessean on notice that the undersigned representing the local community, no longer trust your newspaper as a reliable source for unbiased reporting. The practice of allowing reporters, specifically Bob Smietana to use the Tennessean as a venue to promote personal commentary as fact undermines your credibility. We want objectivity, which means reporting facts - unembellished and without bias.
As one of many examples, Mr. Smietana reported Feburary 23, about a bill that would make following Islamic Shairah law a felony punishable by 15 years in prison. The bill actually addresses those who provide material support to known terrorists. It does not include religious practices such as feet washing or praying as stated by the Tennessean. The local political reporter Chaz Sisk wrote an article a few days later to clarify the bill. This article did not make the front page, so your subscribers may now believe an anti-terrorist bill is targeting Muslims for religious persecution.
Mr. Smietana also wrote, “The Price of Fear” on alleged Islamaphobia. The most disturbing aspect of this report aside from the lack of documentation, conjecture, and willful distortion of facts is the suggestion that those who disagree are nothing more than hatemongers.
This is deliberately inflammatory and misleading tabloid journalism, not investigative reporting and we demand better from the Tennessean. We sincerely hope that the Tennessean can once again become a news organization we can trust, or we will be forced to go elsewhere for the news.