Friday, May 15, 2015

Biased, Bigoted, Bought: Basis of Record's Bad, Babbly Misreporting and Bad Editorial Judgments

You cannot hope to bribe or twist
(thank God!) the British journalist.
But, seeing what the man will do
unbribed, there’s no occasion to.
-- Humbert Wolfe

Sometimes i feel like an opossum -- every day I wake up in a new world!
Based on our experience in living in St. Augustine, Florida since November 5, 1999, 5670 days, the St. Augustine Record:
1. Prefers to kiss up, appease and cover up for the influential, rich and powerful, from CLAUDE LEONARD WEEKS, JR. a/k/a "LEN WEEKS" and JOSEPH LESTER BOLES, JR. a/k/a "JOE BOLES" (Florida Cracker Cafe, 81 St. George Street, below-market rate commercial property no-bid contract covered with front-page Folio Weekly story), to Flagler College and FSDB destruction of buildings and trees to corrupt no-bid 450th contracts (which it editorialized were "not Watergate.")
2. Prefers its politicians "bought and paid for," silent and not "contentious" -- it can't handle the truth, or dissenting votes.
(Hence its bias against former Mosquito Control Commissioner John Sundeman and Commissioner Jeanne Moeller, reform St. Augustine Mayor Nancy Shaver, and past County Commissioners Ben Rich and Ken Bryan and current Commissioner William McClure).
3. Prefers minorities who are disempowered, silent and out of sight (hence its being the only U.S. newspaper that did not have a front page story the day after President Obama's election in 2008, while always ignoring race discrimination issues in employment, housing, public accommodations, as well as Fifteenth Amendment issues on city annexation).
4. Prefers its public officials on pedestals (hence its worshipful, lickspittle approach to endorsing ex-Mayor BOLES, endorsing in haec verb "BUSINESS" as usual" (emphasis added)(was that a Floridian-Freudian slip?) and supporting, no matter what, St. Augustine City Managers WILLIAM BARRY HARRIS and JOHN PATRICK REGAN, P.E. and crummy County Administrators BEN ADAMS and MICHAEL DAVID WANCHICK).
5. Prefers GLBT people to be "in the closet," hence its insipid Christian-rightist approach to the Rainbow flags on the Bridge of Lions.
6. Prefers to ignore the sequelae of wetland-filling, tree-killing developers-advertisers, hence its setting up former sportswriter Stuart Korfhage with the most supercilious beat title -- "Development" -- this side of "Director of Audience/Editor" (Kathy Nelson).
7. Prefers to wear rose-colored glasses wherever conflict of interest self-investigations by Sheriff DAVID BERNARD SHOAR are commonplace, even of deputies shooting and killing people, while insulting The New York Times and its nine-month investigation of the Michelle O'Connell case (newcomer Kathy Nelson archly accused three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Walt Bogdanich of "parachuting in," not "making friends" in the SJSO and asked him whether he had any "regrets." How smug. How superficial. How revolting. This is not journalism -- it is hagiography.)
8. Gives not a fig for our community values, eschewing investigative reporting coverage, which readers want.
9. Prefers hate-filled Ann Coulter gibberish and local editor's thumb-sucking columns about personal interests to thought-provoking editorials.
10. Avoids thinking and even proof-reading -- Jay Leno mocked its 1995 headline, "100 Years of Pubic Service" -- and who among us did not laugh when the Record once was obliged to correct a food recipe that did not include eggs!

Photo credit: Watchdog Wire

No comments: