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DOCUMENTS


The Tentacle


February 11, 2013

The Facts, Ma’am, Just the Facts…Please

Jill King

Vilifying those speaking out in Annapolis on the new gun legislation has been the most recent target of The Frederick News-Post editorially.

 

As one of the only daily local newspapers, it has proven it is not worthy in unbiased reporting and providing accurate information.

 

Fair and balanced, with unbiased political partisanship is not commonplace in our local print source. Good journalists and editorial writers go out of their way to discover truths, not just provide sound bites that could potentially damage political opponents.

 

Perception of what is reported then is translated by the reader to take the writers stance, not be a free thinker or gather their own facts.

 

Time is limited for many, so research is accomplished by a few who do pay attention. With a good majority calling Frederick County a bedroom community, there is no reason to look for the truth. Most are accepting of what they have time for in their structured daily life.

 

For those who read the newspaper, stopping to get one out of the box at 6 A.M., while en route to their Washington Metropolitan area job, they expect more from the paper. Truth should never be an expectation when shoving coins into the box or picking up the most recent edition from your driveway or sidewalk. It should be a reality.

 

There is little retaliation to correct the manner in which The Frederick News-Post uses its product to push their ideas and political persuasion on the consumer. Even Letters to the Editor are sometimes manipulated by their release on a slow Monday, or not even released for consumption by purchasers of the newspaper because the facts and ideas are in conflict with the editor’s.

 

For those who can stomach the Internet comments section, they are met by nameless, faceless attackers who don't want to discuss the issue; rather these contributors show an extremist nature, pushing away those who have concerns or would like to report some factual information. Name calling begins; the contributors go to extremes by posting addresses of other posters, and thus have become a liability to the newspaper. Others use this to gain more email addresses. A prime example is Valerie Dale (wife of the former superintendent of Frederick County schools) who constantly asks people to email her when they are opposed to her position or that of the newspaper.

 

"Breakingoutinhives" daily ‘photo-shopped’ pictures that are negative in respecting our local officials. "Alovelyplace," who signed a few times as Kimberly Mellon, and lives in Washington County, turns every ‘discussion’ into an "it's Blaine's fault" subject. The Frederick News-Post has even interviewed her in an effort to provide her with credibility, as it has done with Mrs. Dale.

 

One of the worst is "KellyAlzan," who has used many names in the past; one for sure was "PatMortilla." Of course, this is not his real name, but he has a lot of time on his hands to troll people and personally attack those with views opposed to his own. At one point he told me that "sometimes he could kiss me, other times he could smack me." While I was commented on the “Forums,” he was one of my biggest stalkers.

 

Efforts to remove items from comments that are libelous are met with a moderator who is asleep at the wheel or else prefers to leave the comment that potentially damages others. The moderator apparently is unaware that there are more readers of these “Forums” that there are commenters.

 

As a commenter, I posted under my real name and stuck to topic – speaking to topics in general. Discussion of issues and a reasonable nature can be well received unless extremists are the only encounter you have. There were times I may have been a little out of line, after being met with personal attacks that were not removed by the site’s moderator; however, the only way to get a tough skin is to crawl with the cretins.

 

Failures of The Frederick News-Post have been in many decisions that have been made over the years.

 

TheTentacle.com was started by its editor and publisher because 11 years ago Frederick had a lone voice commenting of local issues.

 

Roy Meachum was the creator of Joe Volz, who turned against Mr. Meachum and soon replaced his familiar face in The Frederick News-Post. Roy now writes for TheTentacle.com, because that is where many concerned citizens go to express themselves without the fear that their work will be altered. I don't agree with Roy all of the time, but I do enjoy our conversations and the worldliness of his views and Joe has gone on to spread his key-tapping biased points at The Gazette.

 

One writer lost his job at The Frederick New-Post due to plagiarism and yet went on to run for political office successfully; and when that career was cut short, he got a job at Frederick Community College as an instructor of non-credit classes.

 

Is there any wonder that a true Fredericktonian would disregard such smack and misguided information from certain journalists or publications?

 

Those who know the issues, grew up here, and realize the needs of a majority of our citizens are met with the critical nature and partisanship of a paper that spouts off sound bites and gets its reporting, not by legwork, but scanning the Internet, or by watching public meetings on television rather than in person.

 

As a representative of the people of Frederick County, The Frederick News-Post should never criticize – for its own glory – our honorable sheriff, who defends the rights of citizens in Annapolis. His issues on the gun control regulations are out of concern for his own personal rights, as well as those he protects from government overreach.

 

The credibility and reputation of The Frederick News-Post has been at stake for many years; soon it may meet its demise.

 

Those of us who grew up here – are not afraid to walk the streets to gain public opinions, or to run for office – know that we are not one of the paper’s favorites. Yes, the common denominator of its attacks is usually the homegrown factor.

 

There are a few good writers at The Frederick News-Post. Hopefully the paper’s reputation won't take them down with the publication.

 

Here’s a suggestion: Instead of calling itself a newspaper, maybe the owners should look to 501c3 status. Political gamesmanship is often in play in The Frederick News-Post, which preaches only a one-sided view.

 

retrainbrain@hotmail.com

 

retraining my brain for the future.... conferring with the past

 

 



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