Be careful what you wish for when wishing for local ownership of local media. The Press Democrat (PD) is a case in point. If the owners are part of the good old boy network and have committed fraud, violated the Glass-Steagall Act or engaged in shenanigans that the Bohemian’s Will Carruthers has covered, be prepared for some pretty nasty and biased reporting.
I keep thinking that they can’t go any lower, but they manage! Three recent examples:
First, the PD played up a Facebook post by Jerry Threet, former director of IOLERO, which questioned whether Eddie Engram, the status quo’s choice for sheriff, would really represent the Black community. After all, Engram doesn’t believe that the SCSO has exhibited any bias against people of color. Sheriff Essick was allowed to expound at length on the subject. Then the PD’s editorial staff got in on the act and actually likened Threet’s speech to that of Trump’s. The local NAACP wrote a rebuttal in defense of Threet. The PD refused to print it. People wrote letters defending Threet. Refused again. And now Engram has been allowed to level the charge in his own editorial.
Second, the community advisory council of IOLERO voted to censure Sheriff Essick for using government social media to support a candidate, the aforementioned Engram. The PD has refused to report on it.
Third, carrying water for the “business community” it serves, the PD has had multiple long articles about Dr. Sundari Mase and her DUI’s. The executive editor, Rick Green, has even gone so far as to defend, both in the paper and on radio, putting three reporters on the issue and blowing it all out of proportion. It is no secret that said “business community” would like to see an end to Mase, who dared to put human lives over money. I’m sure that it was with a heavy heart that Mase caved to pressure from the board of supervisors to loosen the rules that resulted in a surge and more deaths.
It should be noted that Mase told her supervisor, Barbie Robinson, and the county’s legal department about the DUI and no one chose to make an issue of it, but the rich guys want blood and the county usually does what the rich guys want.
Thank heavens for the Bohemian and its investigative reporters. The Press Democrat should be ashamed, but we live in The Age of Shamelessness.
Susan Collier Lamont