Wednesday, October 20, 2010

'Journalism' reaches a new low

Candidates for Congress in Tennessee's Third District, some of them, were invited to a "debate" by a local Tea Party organization Saturday, 16 October.
Three showed up, not including the Republican nominee, Chuck Fleischmann. By the way, please note that is a two-syllable name, properly hyphenated between the h and the m. An explanation follows.
So, appearing were independents Savas Kyriakidis and Mark DeVol, and Democrat John Wolfe.
According to the alleged reporter, Jessie Gable, who either slept through most of it, or who stepped out for a smoke, it "was pretty much a free-for-all against Republican nominee Chuck Fleis-chmann, who wasn't there to refute the attacks." Sic. Sick. As I have pointed out before, obviously no one reads the thing, so errors abound uncorrected. (The TV magazine has, for two weeks in a row, had some computer glitch that puts question marks alternating with every letter and space in one feature. It looks something like this: I?t?l?o?o?k?s?s?o?m?e?t?h?i?n?g?l?i?k?e?t?h?i?s? Even for the TFP that is incredible.)
"Democratic congressional nominee John Wolfe and independent Mark DeVol used the debate at Woodland Park Baptist Church to criticize Fleischmann."
Of course they did, among many other things they said.
"Wolfe referred to Fleischmann, who has stayed away from most multicandidate events, as the 'coward of the county.'"
Yes, Mr. Wolfe did, as he has before, noting that was a line from a country song (by Kenny Rogers?). I might not know who performed it, but even I know the source, and the "reporter" implies it's a gratuitous insult.
Mr. DeVol said Mr. Fleischmann was "up in Washington, D.C., picking out his furniture." That is a line Mr. DeVol has also used before, meaning, clearly, that the GOP nominee feels he has a lock on the seat, a feeling Mr. DeVol disputes.
The two independents "emphasized their conservative credentials to the audience of 100 or so people." There were many more than that.
"Indepent candidates Don Barkman, Gregory C. Goodwin, Robert Humphries and Mo Kiah were not present."
Candidates Goodwin and Humphries both dropped out long ago and both have endorsed Mark DeVol. I alerted another "reporter" about that fact, weeks ago, but apparently no one at the TFP talks to anyone else while they're not reading their rag.
Mr. Wolfe gets dismissed this way: "Wolfe stumbled over the words 'Iraq' and 'Iran' in his answers. A group of his supporters clapped after almost every answer, although the audience was asked at the start to hold its applause."
Also not true.
The TFP has always disliked Mr. Wolfe and published lots of inaccuracies or criticisms over the years, and even the knee-jerk Times editorialists have not endorsed him. Mr. Wolfe just laughs it off, not expecting any accuracy or simple decency.
Fact is, though Mr. Wolfe has extreme and, in my opinion, often wacky, left-collectivist beliefs, he also had a lot of facts at hand, and he expressed his ideas and intentions to a much greater degree than he expressed criticism of Mr. Fleischmann.
And that was true of the other candidates, too. They spent their time telling us in the audience what they thought was right, was needed.
Only one other "news" medium even showed up ... well, one-and-a-half. Channel 61 "news" is run by Channel 9 "news." Saturday night, though, Channel 61's broadcast, because of some sporting event, appeared on Channel 53.
After a very superficial story, about like the TFP's, another story followed in which "major races," governor and Congress, were mentioned, but only the names of Wolfe and Fleischmann were reported! Incredible incompetence and/or dishonesty is obviously not limited to the paper.
As I had told the TV reporter, that Chuck Fleischmann did not show up has been beat to death. Every forum and broadcast talk show in the district has harped and harped on the fact.
No, the story was what those attending candidates said, what they promised, what they believed and intended.
Tennessee has the second-lowest voter turnout in these United States. One reason: Because of slovenly "news" reporting, the voters don't know they have more than the usual lousy two choices. (Tennessee has very restrictive ballot access laws, and while Tennessee men and women are risking their lives in Afghanistan "to bring democracy," we don't have "democracy" here.)
Independent candidates get next to no coverage, except for a couple Internet fora and the radio talk shows, which, in Chattanooga, are almost the only open news outlets.
Despite promises by the new TFP executive editor, nothing is improving; everything is still terrible and apparently getting worse.

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