The Daily Journal: Laziness or Censorship?

This is a letter Jane Christy sent to the Daily Journal, responding to lies Lou is telling about the Independent Leaders’ service as freeholders.  The bolded part will not be published because the DJ says it does not want to be sued by CVS.  Jane offered documentation on the judgment against CVS/Caremark (we reported this as well, see “Looking a Gift Horse in the Mouth” posted on March 19].   Then the DJ said it would take too long to check the facts.  The “facts” are readily available through an internet search.  Is the DJ censoring to protect Lou, or is it just lazy?

This comes from the paper that had no problem printing Lou’s lies without fact checking.  And which also presents Lou as a key player in the new solar panel manufacturing plant opening in Millville — another lie, since he had nothing to do with it.

Here’s Jane’s letter:

To The Editor:

Re:  Lou Magazzu’s quotes from The Daily Journal’s article, “Dems focused on economic development” that appeared Monday, October 26, 2009.

Just because Mr. Magazzu says it, doesn’t make it true.

1.  There is no record of me voting as a member of the Cumberland County Freeholder Board to oppose the prescription card program.  I did question the company, CVS Caremark’s contracting practices and Caremark Inc., which pleaded guilty and paid approximately $161 million in criminal fines, civil restitution and damages for kickbacks and fraud in its home infusion, oncology, hemophilia and human growth hormone businesses in June 1995.

In addition, since the card is available from CVS, we should ask Mr Magazzu why we paid to promote the card.  He contracted for space to advertise on several billboards throughout the county for three months, which usually costs about $500 per billboard per month.  Postage to mail the cards to every household in the county cost taxpayers $23,000.  I understand the cards are free for the asking at CVS.

Anther hidden cost is the County Department of Health staff keeping records of the card activity.

Do your readers know that several pharmacies in the county give “freely” for certain prescriptions for antibiotics?  Just a few phone calls can save our residents money.

2.  Regarding Mr. Magazzu’s claim that Bruce Peterson and I opposed the 5-cent tax cut.  He is wrong again.  We opposed the then Freeholder Director, Douglas Rainear’s “zero” budget.  The budget surplus was so low that it caused Standard and Poors to drop our Bond rating, which resulted in all future bonds costing the county more money.

That’s an example of why it is not a good idea to have the County Democrat Chair also serve as an elected official.  It’s too difficult to separate the two.

Voters need to change Cumberland County’s Freeholder leadership on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Jane Y. Christy

Independent Leader for Freeholder


17 Responses to The Daily Journal: Laziness or Censorship?

  1. Observer says:

    The Journal just does not want to lose any advertising by printing the letter in full.
    They won’t be in business soon anyway. No reason for them to leave with any journalistic integrity.

  2. tryagain1 says:

    Poor whining Calamity Jane!! Go save a tree or something. Seems from what I’ve read that’s about all you ever accomplished. NO accomplishments as a Freeholder. Was that Magazzu’s fault too? Voting against a tax decreases and fro tax increases, yeah that’s the kind of person I’d vote for!! NOT!!! Stick to doing what you do best, saving trees and gardening. Or maybe take up golf with your friend, Jenn? You are definitely going to still have time on your hands after next week’s election! RE-ELECT MAGAZZU AND CO.! PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY WORK FOR US!!

  3. vineland voter says:

    tax decreases?


  4. Tinfoil Hat says:

    The DJ’s right to question Christy’s bit about the Caremark settlement. In terms of what newspapers have to worry about regarding libel, it’s on shaky ground – CVS merged with Caremark in 2007, and the settlement dates from ’95, when MedPartners owned the company. CVS’s lawyers would jump all over the DJ if they printed this as-is.

    Beyond that, the DJ doesn’t have the resources to delve into what the settlement and eventual merger means. They’re a local paper, and like every other local paper, are stretched thin on resources – talk to one of their reporters or photographers and ask them how much they’re doing, especially vs. how much they were doing a year or three ago.

  5. CryinShame says:

    DJ = lazy (to answer the title of this post).

    Notice any of their editorials and/or political blurbs lately? Whatever is status quo is fine by them. In fact, I know of friends who have sent letters to the editor which have NOT been published. Perhaps they should retain legal counsel if they are so concerned that opinion pieces are libelous.

  6. Tinfoil Hat says:

    …or newspapers could do something that makes sense, like retain attorneys to ensure they don’t publish anything libelous. C’mon, armchair editors and journalists: at least pretend you understand the game.

  7. tryagain1 says:

    Calamity Jane usually mixed up anyway!!

  8. millvillemagnus says:

    Yes, we can grant the DJ some slack — they do have a right to be cautious. No one wants to get sued. On the other hand, a letter I wrote was never published, apparently because it criticized an action of one of their advertisers.* But what is most telling is their absolute lack of curiosity about the material on this website. Is it that they just don’t want to go there when it might be something negative about Lou? Look how they spun the story about Lou showing up for the announcement about the solar panel factory in Millville. Lou had nothing to do with it, yet the DJ gives him prominence in their reporting over the people who deserved recognition. The word is the only reason Lou was on the podium was because the governor’s office insisted he be there — the state is pouring resources into this project, and giving Lou recognition was their price, or at least part of their price.

    *Rossi Honda imported an animal show a few years ago. You pay to have your kids photographed with baby tigers and bears. Problem is these animals grow up and that cute baby your kid held is headed for a canned hunt in Texas. Transportation of animals across state lines for this purpose is now illegal. The DJ would not print my letter protesting this animal sideshow (and animal cruelty), despite several requests.

  9. Tinfoil Hat says:

    Congrats on bringing up another potentially libelous example – barring concrete proof of a connection there, the DJ would risk lawsuits from both Rossi and the animal company. That’s a situation that requires major in-depth reporting, not a letter to the ed – again, something the DJ (nor the News nor the Press) isn’t equipped to do.

    And sure, Magazzu had nothing to do with the solar panel company announcement, but he’s not stupid: half of politics is showing up, getting your face out there and looking interested. Magazzu’s a cagey guy; he does everything he can to inject himself into the dialogue of a story, and watch him when there are photographers around – he may not actually be involved, but he looks the part. Perception is reality.

  10. millvillemagnus says:

    Oh please, Tinfoil, are you saying that the paper will refuse to print commentary on an event it advertised? I found out about this travesty in the DJ, I went, witnessed, and wrote about it. If they are so scared of suits that they refuse to print commentary on an event that no one denies occurred, then they are in real trouble. This had nothing to do with fear of a suit; it had everything to do with fear of an advertiser’s wrath. Which brings us back to Magazzu — now what could the paper want from him that it might lose if it does not endorse him?

  11. Tinfoil Hat says:

    If you had real proof – or could point to a reliable source – the animals end up in a canned hunt, you’re right: the DJ showed little spine. Without that proof, your opinion strays into the legal No Man’s Land. Gannett has an army of attorneys, and they’re not in the business of getting sued and losing advertisers.

    What could the DJ possibly lose if they didn’t endorse Magazzu? Access? Hardly. Maybe easy access, but Magazzu can’t control all the information coming out of every corner of county government. What else, then? Magazzu isn’t all-powerful, and the newspapers don’t need him that much.

  12. millvillemagnus says:

    In my letter, I did not charge the specific animals shown at Rossi would end up in a canned hunt. I pointed out that these cuddly little creatures were shortly going to be big and unmanageable, that they were bred purely for profit, and that they would be disposed of, one possibility being a canned hunt. This form of animal abuse was at the time receiving major attention nationally, and ultimately laws were passed to prevent it. It would have taken very little effort on the part of the paper to ascertain the facts, if they cared to do so. By your reasoning, there is very little the paper can report out of fear of offending someone. Maybe that is why they publish pap. As for Magazzu, I suspect their reluctance to publish negative things about him may have as much to do with political proclivities and an old boy’s network as anything else.

  13. tryagain1 says:

    What about a story about the Cumberland County Republican Chairman Greco and his rise to “stardom”? Just the FACTS. Those FACTS can be stubborn things!

  14. Tinfoil Hat says:

    In that case, good job potentially libeling Rossi and the animal group. You can have opinions all you want, but absent of a solid connection, publishing that would’ve meant an instant lawsuit. The DJ might have won it – and probably would’ve stood a very good chance – but libel lawsuits aren’t cheap.

    And please, an old boy’s network at the DJ? Have you met Joel, or Joe, or Kristie? Have you ever talked with their conservative, by-the-Gannett-book publisher? If anything, they’re guilty of being a bunch of milquetoasts, afraid to challenge the status quo because of Gannett policies. I mean, c’mon, they choose to publish photos of people holding the Journal on vacation over doing more serious writing or photography – profit is the only motive over there, and anything that could damage that is avoided.

  15. tryagain1 says:

    Where’s the Greco story? Is Greco with waldo? Come clean Republicans and let the hear the and decide for themselves? What are you hiding?

  16. Guess-Who says:

    Blah Blah Blah is all Tryagain has to Offer this website Same-Ole Same-Ole Day after Day.

    Notice how Quiet the Crue has Become since Lou Magazzu Claimed Nothing would Stick!

    Lou Magazzu when will u ANSWER the QUESTIONS the Citizens of Cumberland County Expect to have ANSWERED before the Election.
    Today would work as far as getting that RECEIPT from the work Travis Horne was Paid $210.00 on 11-19-07.
    What did he do for ur NACo Campaign, Lou?

  17. James R. Sauro says:

    Lou, issues, still waiting, still no guts.

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