Media Bias or Playing it Safe: What Say You?

laptop-exploding-battery-fireBy Greg Fink

Well another election cycle is running quickly to a close; and yet again we are concerned with an apathetic public who is either unaware or unwilling to care about alleged voter intimidation and alleged political manipulation.

This is manipulation we saw firsthand; I’m not talking about something we heard second or third person.


But I guess we really should give them the benefit of the doubt as to whether they’re truly being biased or just playing it safe.

It used to be, in the good ole days, if a reporter or editor of a media station was given a tip, they might actually research it and then potentially print or broadcast a story about the research.  Having been in charge of opposition research for dozens of campaigns, I’ve personally witnessed the proper manner in which this works.

This year though, that wasn’t so much the case.

Consider Doug Underhill.  He was a County Commission candidate who had been blogging and criticizing the incumbent, Gene Valentino.  And that’s all fine.  Everybody has the right to criticize and correct and suggest solutions.  But when doing so, it’s  best you do not live or stroll in a glass house.

Then again I guess if the media is on your side, you can throw rocks from your glass house all you want.

I mean seriously, for the past eight years certain media personalities, certain community opinion makers, and one sheriff have been dedicated to creating mountains over molehills to a great extreme.  More so with Gene Valentino than any other local elected official I’ve seen in recent history.

In fact, our sheriff was so dedicated to the replacement of Gene with Doug, he even took time out of his not so busy day of fighting crime to go door to door and speak on behalf of Doug at different stakeholder groups around the county.

Bizarre you might say?

Hell yes.

Media outraged as they would be in the past?

Not so much, in fact none at all.

To take it even further, they were heard saying (radio) and seen writing that the sheriff can pretty much do whatever he wants and will be held accountable to no one.

But there is much more of that for a different column.

Back to this race and the obvious media bias.

Throughout this campaign, information came to light that Underhill had received numerous traffic violations (understandable), multiple judgements and foreclosures (could use some explaining) as well as one massive bankruptcy nearing $800,000.

I mean it was like the old “Who’s on first?” joke. Who would cover it?

But why didn’t the media report any of this information as they definitely would have regarding Valentino (as they have done so in the past).

It was obvious that what was good for the goose was nowhere  even near the gander.

Let’s breakdown media response:

Paraphrased:  “We can’t run it because he is endorsed by the sheriff and certain people in town might be upset.”

My response:


Since when did the media sit on a story of a political candidate who withheld so much pertinent information from the public.

A little reality here:  A person who will be managing nearly $2 Billion when you combine BP monies and annual budgets should not have a problem when citizens and taxpayers question his fiduciary responsibility.  In this incident we’re talking about someone who has filed bankruptcy on nearly $800,000 and parts of other foreclosures plus judgements nearly surpassing the amount of the bankruptcy.

But I guess the media need not worry about that itty bitty issue.  They would rather worry about Valentino’s relationship with George Touart or his desire for consolidation of services and eliminating the duplication of government expenses.

So again, where is the media.  Even now, with a great deal of public information out there and a general election on the way?



Not a peep.

Wow, I can’t wait for the day the local media eliminates their bias, stops playing it safe and starts reporting the facts;  but until then, please stick with us as we will be trudging through the local political pits on a weekly basis.

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