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In The Hoop
JUNE 19, 2001

Welcome to In The Hoop, Indianz.Com's occasional column about assorted Indian issues.

Paranoia and Prejudice
Not content to let such an entertaining incident pass without ribbing their rival, the Boston Herald today outs the reporter who caused a scene at last week's Congressional hearing for Bureau of Indian Affairs nominee Neal McCaleb.

So who was that burn-sided reporter?

Sean Murphy of the Boston Globe.

Yes, the Boston Globe - a paper Gayle Fee and Laura Raposa of The Inside Track lovingly refer to as the "Boring Broadsheet."

Yes, Sean Murphy - whom tribal leaders and former Clinton administration officials have blasted for writing stories about federal recognition and Indian gaming. Fee and Raposa call him a "newsie." Others might concoct a slightly less endearing term after reading In The Hoop.

Tipped off by an outside source (not Indianz.Com), Fee contacted content director Todd York yesterday about the In The Hoop piece which discussed the incident in question. In our item and in the Herald, Murphy apologizes for his actions, admitting to being a green-thumb when it comes to appropriate behavior in the Senate's various chambers.

However, his remarks now seem tempered by an accusation which -- according to York -- borders on racism. Murphy told Fee that Indianz.Com is suspect because its owners are Indian.

"Who owns the Web site? Is it a tribe? Are they a gaming tribe?" he says, seemingly grasping at straws.

That explains it. A gaming tribe.

In The Hoop can see it now: the fat cats of the Winnebago Tribe sitting around in Armani suits, smoking cigars, just itching for a way to discredit a reporter who lives thousands of miles away for writing stories which have nothing to do with gaming in Iowa or Nebraska.

Why not launch a web site to do it, they wonder. SeanMurphy.Com? No, that's too obvious. Hey, lets use the one we already own!

Can someone spell paranoia? How about prejudice?

When contacted by Indianz.Com, Murphy avoided the question of whether or not it is fair to question a reporter based on his or her ethnic identity or the ethnic identity of a publication's owner. Instead, he pleaded that he is really out to help Indian Country.

"You exercised your judgment in deeming this newsworthy. Likewise, the Boston Herald. That's your perorgative [sic]," he wrote. "But I think part of the the 'story' is why cares to publish an item about me. You may speculate about my motiviation [sic] in covering Indian gaming."

Not content to let us think, he offers: "The thrust of my coverage has been that some of the rules set up by IGRA have not been scrupulously followed, to the detriment of tribes."

Rules not being followed? The horror.

If only this altruistic reporter were around when treaties were being broken, when promises were being taken back, and when tribal nations were being stripped of their land.

Or has that ever stopped?

Indianz.Com is too busy living la vida loca thanks to the bank accounts of a gaming tribe to remember.

Email The Track Gals to let them know what you think. You can catch their column, The Inside Track every weekday.

In Your Hoop
Got an interesting tip? You might be published here. Email In the Hoop.

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