ESA calls out GamePolitics for unfair coverage [update]

Apparently, this morning's story by GamePolitics about the ESA's E3 keynote speaker was the straw that broke the camel's back. The ESA didn't take too kindly to the way GP framed the story, using a "Non-Christians will burn in hell" quote in the headline when Texas governor Rick Perry seemingly made no such statement.

The Senior Director of Communications for the ESA, Dan Hewitt, sent a letter to Joystiq stating, "If the ESA posted a blog and called it a news site, journalists would rightfully balk and it wouldn't pass a smell test. Remarkably, GamePolitics doesn't face the same scrutiny even though it's funded by the ECA and tainted with anti-ESA vitriol. At the end of the day, calling GamePolitics a news site is as laughable as saying there's a Cuban free press."

Hewitt points to GP's recent coverage of the ESA saying that the site isn't a news site, but a membership recruitment tool for the site's parent company, the Entertainment Consumers Association. We've contacted both GamePolitics and the ECA for a comment regarding the ESA's statement. It seems the ESA just isn't catching a break lately.

Update: Two separate statements from GP and the ECA can be found after the break. GP has also amended its headline.

"GamePolitics is the same news site it has always been, covering the nexus between video games and politics. Since acquiring GamePolitics in October, 2006, ECA president Hal Halpin has insisted that GP retain its editorial independence.

I suspect that, given its current difficulties retaining member companies, the ESA is uncomfortable with the level of scrutiny directed at it by some news outlets. Ultimately, an organization like the ESA is judged by its performance, and, right now, it's fair to call that performance into question. When a politician is keynoting E3, that's worth questioning. When the politician has made divisive comments, like those attributed to Gov. Perry, that's really worth questioning."

-- Dennis McCauley,

Full Disclosure: GP's Dennis McCauley writes Joystiq's The Political Game.

The ECA's statement:

"We were shocked by the quotes that the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) provided to Joystiq about GamePolitics this afternoon," said Heather Ellertson, VP of Marketing for the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA). "Comparing a non-profit consumer advocacy organization to communist Cuba is unprofessional to say the least... especially given the broad support that the ECA and our consumer members have shown for the ESA. We stand behind our publications and their editors and appreciate their talent and dedication."

This article was originally published on Joystiq.