Of course I know no one involved in a controversial issue is ever satisfied with the press. Let me preface my observations by recognizing theirs is a difficult job.
However, I am becoming increasingly concerned about the inclination of the local press to treat Lou much more favorably than they do his opposition.
A few posts I ago I reported the rumor that Lou is lining up buses to bus in people who will vote for him, perhaps being rewarded for their votes. The responding comments suggest that this is not off base. In fact, I’ve heard the payoff may be as little as a carton of cigarettes.
If busing in paid-off voters is strike one against political reform, I’m thinking the lack of press support may be strike two.
I’m referring specifically to our local papers, the Daily Journal and the Cumberland News. While the Daily Journal has some good reporters, it seems to want to stay above the political fray, so hasn’t been as vocal on the upcoming freeholder election as the News. Sadly, the Daily Journal is becoming increasingly distinguished by its online forum, a cesspit polluted by some of the county’s premier wackos. Anyone trying to hold a serious conversation on the forum is soon shouted down by the crazies.
That leaves the News as a potential venue for evenhanded exchange. While the News tries, I believe, to appear neutral, that’s not what is coming through. This rant is especially stimulated by today’s paper. The Democrats are so desperate at this point that they are digging up ancient news and trying to pin Peterson with a bad decision. (See commentary on today’s News article in an earlier post). Their charges are splashed center front page, with a big photo of Peterson. Underneath, you might see there is also an article on the Republican’s continued questioning about NACo-gate. Even with much less visibility, the article has at least half of its content devoted to Lou’s rebuttal.
We were earlier bothered by how quickly the Republican’s news conference aimed at pointing out serious concerns with the county budget was so quickly abandoned by the press in favor of Lou’s hastily-called (and clearly competitive) news conference rehashing old news. In an earlier post, Matt Dunn explains why he attended Lou’s conference, and we have no argument with his explanation. But still…why have the Republican concerns about the budget not been better publicized? (I am not a Republican and will not vote for the Republican candidates).
So think, reader, where we would be without the Internet? This blog gives us the freedom to raise issues the press ignores. We understand the limitations of the press and can’t fault them for adjusting to realities such as paid advertisers and the need for access, which requires remaining on the good side of those in power. And we acknowledge that the informed person will not accept everything on this site as gospel and will delve further into the issues on his or her own. (We do, however, value truthfulness and distinguish between fact and rumor). We also have the freedom afforded by anonymity, which it the case of Lou is important, given his record of vindictiveness. He will go after you in any way he can.
If you share our concern that the only way of getting the truth out about Lou is through this blog, and that the lack of support on the part of the press may be strike two against reform, we urge you to forward our url to those you know will be voting in the upcoming election.