Sunday, August 16, 2015
When did you stop beating your wife?
I'm sure everyone remembers that old joke about misdirection and innuendo, which came to mind recently when I read an article by Courier Journal political reporter Joe Gerth, who recently wrote an article about gubernatorial candidates Jack Conway and Matt Bevin attending a private meeting being sponsored by the Kentucky Coal Association which excludes the media (specifically the CJ).
In what's the worse kept secret in Kentucky, the CJ has often been accused of acting as the unofficial mouthpiece for the Democratic Party. It's so bad that it's become part of local lore and the butt of countless jokes. For years the CJ editorial staff has black listed me ever since I began reviewing and critiquing their "endorsement" process. Previously, they published practically everything I wrote---sometimes in separate box with an illustration added---and even gave me the byline at the top of the Editorial page! Then after I began questioning their process the only way I could give my opinion was on their online site, which was generally deleted. So I or someone else had to "like" my comment to avoid it's near immediate deletion. On the upside, one of my "demands" was to publish the entire unedited transcript of the endorsement interview or at least video tape it and make either available to the public, which the Courier Journal is at least occasionally doing now.
Don't get me wrong here. I'm not implying anything about Joe. He's a great guy and a pretty darn good reporter. Personally, I haven't had any problems with him and Joe isn't involved with his newspaper's "endorsement" process so far as I know . However, too many
times I heard stories from conservative candidates who claimed answers were wrongly attributed, misquoted, or "correct" answers or "wrong" answers deleted for the opponent not to mention endorsement made without so much as an interview---phone or in person--or
I've always thought candidates should respond to the press with direct and honest answers to honest and direct questions. However, when the media puts itself into the active role of trying to create the news or manipulate public opinion, candidates have a civic duty to either call that reporter, editor or manager out or by simply declining to answer the question after explaining to those present why and then moving on to the next reporter who will be hopefully "fair, balanced and honest". Of course, candidates shouldn't assume every question they don't like is necessarily biased. That's just as unfair to the public. Questions should be relevant to the race and issues being discussed.
Gov. candidates should demand open coal debate