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Report to Readers

Report to Readers: A regrettable comment

A Monitor reporter made an inappropriate comment this morning that was unintentionally public and subsequently became fodder for a speech on the floor of the New Hampshire House. I apologize for the incident and want to explain how it happened.

As our State House reporters noted in their “Capital Beat” column on Sunday, former House speaker Bill O’Brien’s new seat in the House is not nearly so lofty as his former position at the front of the Hall of Representatives. He is seated at the very back of the hall, in a two-person row – between a Democrat and a large pillar.

Yesterday, reporter Annmarie Timmins used Twitter to send out a photo of O’Brien in his new seat, alongside his new seat-mate, Concord Rep. Katherine Rogers.

And then – intending to respond to a private message on Twitter via another private message – Timmins made a remark about Rogers’s weight. “I see she hasn’t minimized,” Timmins wrote.

When she realized it had been sent out publicly, she quickly removed it. But by that time, the message had been seen by at least one lawmaker in Representatives Hall. Rep. Al Baldasaro took to the House floor, repeated the essence of the message and criticized Timmins.

Timmins immediately called Rogers. “I apologized to her and acknowledged I had been unprofessional and inappropriate,” she said. “I regret that a stupid comment made by me created an uncomfortable situation for Rogers in such a public way.”

I’ve talked to Timmins about this incident. It’s embarrassing not only to the players at the State House but also to the Monitor. The job of State House reporters is to cover the news, not be the news, and that is our goal going forward.

Legacy Comments14

Yes the comment was inappropriate. But folks, especially you from the right side of the political aisle, take a moment for a breather. This was just another example of the type of dumb remarks we routinely see with Twitter-addicted individuals, not another example of political "hate" speech.

You are correct, it is NOT hate speech, the woman in question is a Democrat, if that was said about a Republican, it would be hate speech, good point. I does show the sense of superiority that the reporter seems to feel over others who may or may not have a health challenge. It is also typical progressive "we know what is best" attitude and behavior.

If the individual in question in fact "hasn't minimized", three cheers to Ms. Timmins for getting the facts correct. This would represent a journalistic achievement (that is, getting the facts right) and should be complimented. More generally, voluntary obesity is a major health issue. The personal choice to be obese, rather than to eat less and exercise more, imposes large economic and social costs on society. Does it violate political correctness and norms of social sensitivity to call out voluntary obesity as an issue, particularly in the case of policy makers such as legislators? It's unclear whether Ms. Timmins confirmed that the individual in question "hasn't minimized" as a matter of voluntary choice, rather than due to a specific medical issue. If Ms. Timmins did confirm lack of minimization on the part of a legislator was voluntary (by choice), is it so clear that her comment was inappropriate?

Yes.

You are so right. Could you and those who live in progressive land also please set all standards by which one should behave. I would like to see drinking alcohol reduced or eliminated, smoking, restaurants. I think also that we should call out anyone shopping at stores that we feel are not worthy, perhaps we should tell folks which fabrics are the best for them to wear and maybe restrict how many hours they watch television, let's call everyone out for whatever behaviors we find personally offensive. I think that the fact that Timmins called our the "minimization" tells us that Annmarie is a bully of sorts.

Political incorrectness has run amok. You are no longer deaf, you are hearing impaired. You are not longer crippled, you are handicapped. You are no longer blind, you are visually impaired. You are no longer short, you are vertically challenged. Yes, words do hurt but we have become a society of over emotional, over sensitive bags of mush. Now in fairness, Timmins was wrong to post that and to make amends, perhaps a more recent picture of Timmins should be posted as all that glitters is not gold.

I am married to a lovely woman who at one time was very heav. I experienced her hurt feelings when she overheard people putting her down because she was "Heavy" when they thought she couldn't hear the comments. Ms timmons may be a good reporter, but her true feelings about "heavy" people has been shown. For this I have lost alot of respect for her and as such I feel she should be terminated! She sent that statement about the congresswoman when she thought she was being private. At least she had the common decency to appologize. Maybe she needs to walk a mile in the shoes of an overweight person so she can get first hand knowledge of how hurtful people can be. That comment should NEVER have been sent in public, and especially in private! I say terminate her.

Was the comment "inappropriate" because it was made? Or, was the comment "inappropriate" because it was made public? Do the Monitor's editors regret this incident? Or do the Monitor's editors regret this incident because it was made public? The next time liberals/progressives/Democrats start harping on conservatives/Republicans for being "mean-spirited," expect this incident to be recalled -- for a long, long time.

I would say the latter, because it was made public. We hear so much about "tolerance" and "inclusion" and political correctness from progressives but we see that progressives are human beings too. It was "mean spirited" but it is also a sign of the times with the Twitter generation; self absorbed people who are so hungry for attention that they become electronic braggers. As if anyone cares what they are doing and what they think on a constant ongoing basis.

We seem to have a lot of folks who are tweeting and messaging during works hours when they are suppose to be working. They also go on facebook and play games. Obviously, many of these folks do not have enough work to keep them busy. Women who bash other women in regards to their physical apperance almost always dislike the person they are bashing. Or are threatened by them. So one of the nastiest insults you can say about a woman is to attack her weight. Second to that insult, is to say she is not aging well. Almost always these remarks are from another woman. It was very unprofessional and mean. Too bad we do need see this outrage more often when conservative women get bashed. This incident was a work related incident. It should have not been made public by anybody. Handled badly.

And they say republicans are the party of hate??? They aint got nothing on the democrats...right Annmarie!!..BTW...WHO was the private tweet to???

Ms. Timmins has proven herself to be a competent, unbiased journalist in the past. This single indiscretion should not tarnish that reputation or result in any reassignment. The House would have been better served and not deprived of valuable time on more serious topics had Mr. Baldasaro spoken to Ms. Timmins personally, rather than bringing an unfortunate and embarrassing observation to the floor. I'm certain you, Ms. Belman, did have a word (or two) with Ms. Timmins, and I don't think we will see another such gaffe, at least until the primary candidates begin their promises and excuses.

Now that IS funny? Timmins unbiased? She is part of big government establishment apologists and has a spouse who is part of the system, engrained in the nepotism and self perpetuation that is the state of NH. I am sure that the slap on the wrist of Timmins was followed by some more derogatory comments about O'Brien and a yuck, yuck. NO, I have not bugged the Monitor offices, it just fits.

Seat assignments on early organization day are temporary for the day only, as is the formal roll call. Ms. Timmins' comment in inexcusable, whether meant privately or otherwise. I trust you will place her on probation.

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