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Radio talk show host launches boycott against local newspaper

Dan Patrick
KSEV radio talk show host Dan Patrick went on a crusade against the Houston Chronicle for what he calls a liberal slant.
A local family who lost their son in Iraq recently is upset with the Houston Chronicle newspaper. Marine Leroy Sandoval's family thinks a recent Chronicle article unfairly portrayed the family's feelings about the president. The family's displeasure has now launched a boycott of the paper by a local radio talk show host.

Private First Class Leroy Sandoval, Jr., was a Marine. He died last month in Fallujah. And when his family talked about his death with the Houston Chronicle, they never imagined what would follow.

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  • At the center of this are 39 words that appeared in a March 28 article about the death of Leroy Sandoval. They are, in part, "The family did not want to discuss their sentiments about the war or the political debate surrounding President Bush's failure to find weapons of mass destruction..."

    The family says they told the reporter they didn't want anything political in the article. They say that paragraph makes it sound as though they are against the war -- which they are not.

    Sandoval's sister Amy Walters said, "He just had to put that paragraph in there. That was unnecessary. He didn't need that paragraph in there."

    And so they told KSEV radio talk show host Dan Patrick, who on Thursday, went on a crusade against the paper for what he calls a liberal slant.

    "If you haven't cancelled your subscription yet, what are you waiting for?" Patrick asked listeners. "Thousands have, we understand."

    Friday the Chronicle issued this statement from Publisher and President Jack Sweeney who "called the family on April 8th, and apologized for upsetting them after learning of their concern."

    It continued, "In reporting all sides of a story, newspaper reporters often have to ask uncomfortable questions."

    Sandoval's family told Eyewitness News on Friday they accept the apology, but they are still upset. They want most of all for Leroy's death not to have been in vain.

    His stepfather Steve Walters said, "Let's get down to the issues. Let's serve together as one country and get the job done."

    Eyewitness News tried to contact Dan Patrick and KSEV on Friday to ask if he still supports a boycott, given the paper's apology to the family. He's not yet returned the call.

    The family says they've also called Patrick to tell him they've accepted the apology, but have not talked with him about it.
    (Copyright © 2004, KTRK-TV)

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