Saturday, November 01, 2008

Censoring by Sylvia Smith

I challenged Congressman Souder in 2002 as a republican. I had the naïve view that voters wanted choices and wanted candidates to identify clearly their positions on issues. I for one was tired of having little to choose from. Many people simply stopped voting.

As an engineer I have had to present analysis on projects, work with people on the floor to get processes to work and perform cost analysis as to what is the cheapest method to produce product. Do we sublet the contract to an outside vendor or keep it in house? In all cases the answer hinged on material cost, energy, labor and taxes.

I decided to run with the purpose of making a difference. I was going to speak on issues and not resort to negative campaigning. I was naïve to think that the media would embrace this radical change. What I have found is the following:

The Journal Gazette is not interested in any candidate’s positions or the issues; they determine the issues, not the candidates.

In the recent debate between Souder, Montagano and Larsen, Sylvia Smith of the Journal Gazette mentioned the positions of Souder and Montagano on the following issues;
• deceitful campaign commercials
• bailout bill
• Montagano - I’m proud to own my own home
• Souder profited from an earmark he won is "a flat lie."
• Public and private polls

Well I was standing between both candidates and the questions were;

• Bail Out
• Earmarks
• How would you represent the 3rd district? Would you vote the way you wanted or the way the voters wanted?
• Negative Campaigning
• What our my qualifications
• Healthcare
• Energy

You can read Sylvia Smith’s reporting of the debate. How well did she cover the issues? Did she report each candidate’s position on the questions asked by those in attendance? Do you as a voter have a better idea of each candidate’s position on issues after reading her article? Did she sensor her readership? Freedom of the Press, wow I had an entire different notion of what this meant!

Sylvia even goes as far as to write “Larsen is not raising or spending money in his campaign.” Did she ask me if I was spending money, no? Was I required to file a campaign finance report, no? A candidate does not need to file a campaign finance report until they raise or spend $5,000 or more.

As a Navy Veteran who served his country and was severely injured doing so, I find it an insult to all veterans when a Media Source such as the Journal Gazette mocks the very freedoms I and others took an oath to preserve, protect and defend.

People complain that candidates sling mud, spend too much money and do not answer questions or make their positions clear. I answered the questions. I made my positions clear, but Sylvia Smith of the Journal Gazette decided you the voter were not worthy enough to be told what they were and so she used Freedom of the Press to censor the news.

Maybe it is not the candidates that are to blame. I am now thinking it is the Media that is the problem. I think the candidates are conforming to what the media will accept as a candidate in order to get coverage. If you do not conform, you will be ignored. Not all media is to blame. Some do a fair job of reporting.

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NBC-33 Debate poll results from 2002