Dear Mr. Pruitt, CEO of the Associated Press,
Additionally, I am a journalist whose writing has appeared at the Huffington Post, WND, Newsweek, InfoWars, Shadowproof, as well as Red State, and my human rights advocacy has been featured by Rolling Stone, Michelle Malkin, and RT. Since 2013 I have fought for institutionalized children in America who suffer well-documented but under-publicized and unconscionable abuses like these:
Mr. Greg Kutz testifies as the managing director of Forensic Audits and Special Investigations for the U.S. Government Accountability Office on the plight of institutionalized youth in America during sessions before the U.S. House of Representative’s Committee on Education and Labor.
However, no one would believe any of this from AP’s very misleading coverage. All that your readers have been told is that I am an “accused hospital hacker” campaigning from jail and that I “protested” what your organization euphemistically reports as a “custody dispute” involving a young girl named Justina.
There is no mention of Justina’s suffering at the hands of that hospital, nor of the dozens of other child victimswho have come forward to say that they too endured horrific abuses there. There’s no mention that Justina provides living testament from her wheelchair that hospital staff left her in agony for months, that they ripped out her toenails by dragging her feet on the floor, that they refused to let her attend Mass, nor that they limited, monitored and censored her communications, making it difficult for her to express what was happening and that she resorted to sneaking out hidden notes saying that she was being tortured.
Similarly, there is no mention of the other credible adult whistleblowers who tried to stop this hospital from abusing Justina, including one of the hospital’s own former nurses and a former federal prosecutor/board member of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children as well as Justina’s father, who appeared on PBS Boston and later said that she was in mortal danger.
AP’s utter failure to tell any of those parts of the story and its probable attempts to cover up atrocity at the cost of victims and advocates is further highlighted by the effects of the facts above in the work of journalists at Rolling Stone, CRTV, RT, InfoWars and more, though none of those publications reach a worldwide audience the size of yours. Indeed, in comparison, reporter Beau Berman won the Edward R. Murrow award for his courageous and damning coverage of Justina’s plight, but left to the AP, your audience wouldn’t have any clue about that either. Thankfully though, despite the negligence if not malice of the AP, the public hasn’t forgotten about Justina’s suffering, especially both here in Massachusetts as well as in her home state of Connecticut.
As an advocate, I cannot sufficiently underscore that what your staff has done is a disrespectful betrayal of victims like Justina and the whistleblowers who fight alongside them in the same metaphorical trenches as more diligent and dutiful journalists. So, I am left to ask if this is a type of bullying being carried out on behalf of your allies and if it’s meant to discourage victims and advocates from coming forward lest they be similarly misrepresented? Regardless, I assure you that if this continues, such suppression will be its end effect.
Therefore I must ask, is this intimidation somehow supposed to be okay because it’s accompanied by the letters “AP”? Isn’t this election meddling?
How many AP reporters stationed in America are in violation of the recently publicized Foreign Agent Registration Act, which requires people working for foreign principals while engaging in political activities to register with the U.S. government? Given that around the same time the AP was apparently targeting my Senate campaign, it also ran a false report saying the recent school shooter was in a white supremacist group when in reality he wasn’t, are you primarily journalists concerned with the truth or propogandists for the Democrats concerned about politics? If my situation were inverted and I were a Democrat running against a popular Republican in a deep red state, might your coverage of my campaign have mentioned the human rights violations against which I fight and how well documented they are?
No one should have to remind the AP that it is the sacred duty of journalists to hold the people in power accountable to the public, to bravely be the public’s eyes and ears in otherwise dark places while never cowering in the face of atrocity, especially when the perpetrators wield influence. Journalism is supposed to be the fearless and objective search for truth, not the lazy attempt to subjectively tell less than half of it.
On that note, there is barely any reference to Aaron Swartz or Carmen Ortiz in AP’s previously published revisionist history on this matter. How are journalists supposed to cover a hunger strike without any mention of its critical motivations, as AP’s Denise Lavoie has done not just once, but twice before?
Is misleading vulnerable sources, as Lavoie did to me when I was weeks into a prison hunger strike, an acceptable practice for your employees? If you listen to our full interview and especially to the end and compare it to the article that follows, are you not embarrassed and ashamed for your entire organization? When Lavoie ignored our government’s own documentation of the torture of children within our borders, after we had pointed her to it, and instead referenced these atrocities as “Dana Gottesfeld said her husband is fighting for what he believes are human rights violations inside institutions that treat troubled teenagers, including drug rehabilitation facilities, hospital psychiatric wards, residential treatment centers and boot camps,” how was it an attempt to do anything other than deny those victims and their advocates their hard-earned credibility?
Aren’t these the kinds of illegitimate attempts to cover up human rights violations and to discredit whistle blowers which we normally expect to see from state-run media in despotic nations?
In conclusion, as a further indication of the AP’s dereliction of its journalistic duty, I’m going to link to the email exchange between my wife and your reporter before this last article was published. I may be in jail, which seems to be the one fact that AP isn’t the least bit shy about printing over and over again, but I’m doing everything that I can to protect these kids and to have their stories be heard. What’s APs excuse?
Marty Gottesfeld is an Obama-era political prisoner and Republican Senate candidate against incumbent Elizabeth Warren. You can donate to his legal defense fund at FreeMartyG.com or to his political campaign at VoteMartyG.com.