Report: Newsday Reporters Reassigned as Pol Exerts Pressure

mediamatters03082010.pngSelf-proclaimed corrector of “conservative misinformation” Media Matters announced today that they’d picked up veteran investigative journalist Joe Strupp, and Strupp has hit the ground running. On his first day, he’s published a story about one Long Island politician’s influence at Newsday. A couple Newsday reporters may have been reassigned thanks to pressure from a Long Island politician they had been covering, Strupp reports.

The Newsday pair, Bart Jones and Chau Lam, were taken off their beats in the wake of complaints by Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, Strupp says, citing source connected to the newspaper. (Levy is a Democrat with conservative views on certain issues, such as immigration.) Strupp then quotes one Newsday reporter as saying Newsday is “too deferential” to Long Island politicians.

Strupp also says that Levy has a long history of raising hell with reporters who cover him:

Levy “absolutely takes exception with stories he doesn’t like in ways that are remarkable,” says Carl MacGowan, a reporter for Newsday. He is “more vindictive than other politicians.”

Last week, the Long Island Press provided a detailed account of dysfunction at Newsday. We may be able to add “caving to local politicians” as another black eye on the paper.