Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Naked Media Bias

These two pieces about local debates seem to speak for themselves. Here's some blatant media bias served up fresh at your table with a side order of lying, a lack of journalistic integrity for dessert with some good ole boyism and a total lack of imagination as an appetizer.

The first piece is from the "Boos and Bravos" section of the Compost-Star and it gives a local candidate a hard time for not showing up at a public debate. To quote them, "Answering questions from the public about one's record and speaking about one's plans for the future should be seen as an opportunity to embrace, not a burden to avoid." Right! Exactly! So, why the next day the sudden change of tune?

The second piece is their coverage of the only real and unmanipulated debate that will take place during this year's Glens Falls mayoral race. The two major party candidates were too frightened to show up and engage in discourse and gave feeble little "preparing for the primaries" excuses. Interestingly, the democrat is not facing any primary challenge whatsoever, and the republican machine candidate's only opponent was at the debate and he was the one with everything to lose.

In my view it would be awfully hard to argue that a well-publicized debate, fully attended (and not virtually shut out by our fake local media) would have been a far more effective tool at getting the primary vote out than ducking organized labor in favor of knocking on a few doors. Take Quintal to task, and then beatify Bud Taylor for the same exact behavior? Why? This is corrupt and unprincipled behavior.

The Post-Star then gives their hero (Bud Taylor) equal time even though he was not even there. It is their common practice to ignore all of those who do not attend functions, events and/or meetings. They also totally downplayed the two men in chicken outfits who represented Taylor and Akins at the debate. They didn't use one of the many photos taken. Why not? It would have been great front page! Then, the paper that always covers the power structure and hates real ideas and discourse, left early, running back to its little office so it could call its boss (Bud Taylor) to see what he thought about what was said during the debate and then report on that.

Truly disgusting, partisan behavior, but what else can you expect from such a terrible rag? I for one, am finished with my campaign to help them be a better paper. I see that they don't want to be. They are perfectly content being tools of the establishment and, as such, have little or no regard for the truth. They are of no further use to me. My subscription is done. I could only stomach them when I thought there were a few people there actually trying to do their jobs. I can no longer even try to believe that. Bye-bye ComPost-Star. Please cancel my subscription.

Its high time we start a new weekly and I'll be in touch soon about exactly that.

Peace,
Matt


BOOS & BRAVOS
Published on 9/12/2005OpinionTHE POST-STAR

Boos to Warrensburg Town Supervisor Jerold Quintal for refusing to show up for a Republican party candidate forum to discuss his views with citizens. Mr. Quintal, who is facing a primary challenge tomorrow from former town Councilman Kevin Geraghty, was asked months ago to participate in the forum and speak about his administration's record. But he repeatedly refused to take up his own party chairman on the offer, and on Thursday, only his opponent was there to face the citizens' questions. Answering questions from the public about one's record and speaking about one's plans for the future should be seen as an opportunity to embrace, not a burden to avoid.


Candidates make final pitch

Glens Falls Trio of mayoral hopefuls come to final primary debate
By MAURY THOMPSON thompson@poststar.com
Published on 9/13/2005Local NewsTHE POST-STAR

GLENS FALLS -- Instead of the Burger King restaurant, city officials may want to consider taking the nearby hydroelectric plant on the Hudson River by eminent domain, independent candidate Esmond Lyons said. The candidate’s suggestion came in response to a question in a mayoral debate asking what could be done locally to deal with the energy crisis. The hydroelectric plant, owned jointly by Finch, Pruyn & Co. and Boralex, could be used to generate electricity for city residents, Lyons said. This would be an example of using eminent domain for “public benefit instead of corporate benefit,” he said during a debate at the Charles R. Wood Theater sponsored by the Greater Glens Falls Central Labor Council and the publishers of The Informed Constituent, a monthly newspaper based in Albany.

About 70 people attended the debate. Republican and Conservative candidate Peter McDevitt, who followed Lyons in responding, said that perhaps people would change their driving habits when gasoline prices reach $5 a gallon. “I guess when it hurts enough in our pocketbook, we will drive less,” he said. Any efforts to improve the environment locally must be matched with pressure to reduce pollution that blows into the region from Midwest states, said William Berg, another independent candidate. “There’s not so much we can do about that unless we can get them to start riding bicycles too,” he said.

Republican, Conservative and Independence candidate Harold “Bud” Taylor and Democrat and Working Families candidate Leroy “Roy” Akins Jr. did not attend. Akins previously said he was not attending because he did not want to interfere with today’s Republican and Conservative primaries. Taylor said he would not attend because he had participated in two previous debates, and needed to spend the evening before the primary campaigning.

Two activists dressed in chicken costumes greeted people at the theater entrance and passed out leaflets criticizing Akins and Taylor for not attending. McDevitt, who did attend, criticized Taylor for accepting a $1,000 campaign contribution from the engineering firm that is designing the roundabout, and a $200 contribution from city Controller Bruce Crouser. “Harold Taylor should give that money back. We need a mayor who will stand up against vested interests,” he said.

Contacted after the debate, Taylor said that people who donate to his campaign know they will not receive special treatment. “That’s just a lot of nonsense,” Taylor said. “It points to the fact that he does not have any issues to talk about.”

Lyons said that city residents should watch less television and that labor unions should encourage their members to adopt a healthy lifestyle. “Alcoholism and tobacco use are prevalent in union members. They need to wake up,” he said. Berg called for establishing a citywide organization similar to a labor union that would charge $5-per-week dues, the proceeds of which would be used for health care and to provide legal assistance to members.

Responding to a question, Berg said it may be difficult to come up with a plan to raise the average household income in Glens Falls from $30,000 to the national average of $42,000. “Ah, good question,” he said. “I’d just like to give everybody the difference, but that doesn’t seem to be possible.”