Wash and Spin the News, Letís go to Press
By Investigative Reporter John Taft, Commentary
Grants Pass -- In the Corpulent Rat story, a satire by John Taft, an endangered species takes up residence in the Josephine County courthouse. The rat becomes a protected species, safe from the dangers of the real world. Does a daily newspaper manipulate events in the county courthouse by spinning a sticky web of illusion? Can it remain safe from the danger of exposure in the real world? The World Wide Web poses a serious threat to black journalism by allowing the other side of the story to be read.
Power of the Internet
The story of the Corpulent Rat was published on Behind the Scenes in JoCo. It is now listed as the number four item under Corpulent Rat in the Google search engine. The power of the Internet to spread information is awesome. Behind the Scenes webmaster is Peter D. Sparacino, an extraordinarily talented writer, who is also a perceptive political analyst on county and national politics. Mr. Sparacinoís articles are rated in the top ten of some of the premier search engines on the Internet. What he writes is made available to the world, not just Josephine County. Even a few of his letters to the editor are listed on some search engines. To understand local politics, his web site is a must read. He is reporting the other side of the story that the Daily Courier normally ignores. Mr. Sparacinoís latest offering questions the intentions of Daily Courier writer Howard Huntington in writing about alleged commissionerís meetings held in secret. For this story go to http://www.budget.net/~primrose/01-15-01.htm In this latest laboratory generated whirlwind of dirt, is the intent to discredit the concept of using three county commissioners? Would the good old boys like to have a county manager such as the city of Grants Pass uses, or perhaps a board of five members?
Do Spin Doctors Walk in Circles
The question is, does the Daily Courier conduct a political news blackout in JoCo, and is reporter Howard Huntington really a doctor of spin? It has been told that some suffer from vertigo after reading his articles. This the reader will have to decide for himself.
In regards to the Daily Courier and reporter Howard Huntington, I can verify the following story from personal experience. In January 1999, I was president of the Josephine County Taxpayers Association (JCTA), a 501 c-3 tax-exempt educational organization. JCTA was friendly with both the newly elected Sheriff Dave Daniel and Commissioner Frank Iverson. In honor of their election, JCTA held a membership drive and barbecue, featuring the Barbecue Bandit, Mr. Jim Rossi, a professional barbecuer. Over two hundred people attended the barbecue held indoors at the Josephine County Fairgrounds. This was a high profile, successful event. If not political, it was at least a human-interest story featuring the two newly elected county officials.
Courier Silent on Big Event
Reporter Howard Huntington of the Daily Courier showed up and watched the event.. While I was introducing guests in the banquet room, I made the comment that the media was there and introduced Huntington to the guests in attendance. Since Huntington had made the effort to attend and the event was successful, I had expected to read a favorable story in the Courier. There was no mention of the event the next day or the day after that. In fact, as far as the Courier was concerned, the event never happened.
Was the Event a News Blackout?
Did the owner and editor of the Courier pull the shade on this story and have a news black out? Being on the outside, this reporter and the reader can only guess as to what the real motives of the Courier managers were. Owner John Voorhies, Publisher Dennis Mack, and Editor Dennis Roler may have decided they didnít want to give JCTA any favorable press. Over the years, the Courier has been at war with various members of JCTA. Several years ago, a Courier staff writer who stepped over the line and used slanderous or near slanderous material in an article shortly thereafter disappeared from the staff,. A former editor of the Courier also carrier this vendetta to extremes and was later relieved of his position, with no one ever saying why. That may be a good subject to uncover.
Spin, and Twist to Shape
Whatever the reason for the news blackout, many folks believe the Courier has attempted to spin local political news for many years. It has been essentially the only local news source with reporters to cover the local stories. The Courier appears to have used the articles written by Huntington to twist and shape the information that is presented to the readers in this county. The editorial board evidently has given Huntington free reign to fire his arrows of twisted fact at whomever gets in its way. Others and I have felt the sting of some of Huningtonís barbed arrows. Examples can be produced on request.
Will Twisters be Pushed Out of Shape
With the advent of the computer and the Internet, information can no longer be totally manipulation by any group of men. Light is beginning to break through the news blackout. The Oregon Observer is also an influential monthly source of news exposing corruption within county and state government. Bravo to Mr. Sparacino, the Oregon Observer, and others who are hastening the dawning of a new day.
John Taft's 1998 satire The Corpulent Rat: JOSEPHINE
COUNTY COURTHOUSE HAS BEEN DECLARED AN ENDANGERED ...
www.budget.net/~primrose/coprat.htm - 8k - Cached - Similar