More Media Bias and Slander, Disinformation etc

Current rating: 0 by David Johnson Email: unionyes (nospam) (unverified!) Phone: 356-8247 22 Sep 2006 Last Sunday's News Gazette editorial featured an attack a longtime union and anti-war activist! The Publishing Editor of the News Gazette ( John Foreman ) wrote a THREE column opinion piece ( last Sunday 9 / 17 / 06 ) attacking all who criticized Bush's war as the " bash America first crowd " and specifically attacked FW. Bob Wahlfeldt was called a " draftee potato peeler in Virginia for the duration of WW -2 ". FYI, FW. Wahlfeldt was a Navy rescue swimmer who from 1943 to 1945, swimming in shark infested waters and artillery barrages from enemy ships and planes to rescue downed U.S. pilots and torpedoed ship survivors. This publisher of the News Gazette ( John Foreman ) revealed his extremist right-wing ideology and his ignorance in this opinion piece and refused to meet with FW Wahlfeldt on Monday and Tuesday when FW. Wahlfeldt went to the News Gazette with his military service records in hand. FW. Bob Wahlfeldt wrote a letter to the News Gazette identifying himself as a WW-2 veteran and opposing the appearnce of an Army reserve colonel at a local grade school who was quoted in the News Gazette as telling the children that ; " we are in a war against terorism against people who are intolerant of other people's beliefs ". FW. Wahlfeldt stated that this was recruitment and propoganda for Bush's war. The Publishing Editor of the News Gazette ( John Foreman ) wrote a THREE column opinion piece ( last Sunday 9 / 17 / 06 ) attacking all who criticized Bush's war as the " bash America first crowd " and specifically attacked FW. Bob Wahlfeldt was called a " draftee potato peeler in Virginia for the duration of WW -2 ". FYI , FW. Wahlfeldt was a Navy rescue swimmer who from 1943 to 1945 swam in shark infested waters and artillery barrages from enemy ships and planes, to rescue downed U.S. pilots and torpedoed ship survivors. This publisher of the News Gazette ( John Foreman ) reveled his extremist right-wing ideology and his ignorance in this opinion piece and refused to meet with FW Wahlfeldt on Monday and Tuesday when FW. Wahlfeldt went to the News Gazette with his military service records in hand. This attack on FW. Wahlfeldt is the brick that has broken the camel's back with the News Gazette and their skewed right-wing biased reporting. whose views are not shared by the vast majority of this community, not to mention their refusal to cover and almost total media black-out of any Labor event. Lets give them something to report about or at the very least, show the community that we are sick of their lies and distortions. Saturday October 7th has been suggested as a tenative date to fight back against this right-wing rag that pretends to be a community newspaper. Please respond to let me know if you are willing and able to come out for this picket. More than likely it would be at 1pm. FW ( Fellow Worker ) David Johnson 356-8247 posted for DJ, working class hero, by Paul Mueth who suggests that the comment area be used to dsicuss co-ordinate media actions, letters, demonstrating at NG office or at Foreman's house if it's near busy street with sidewalks

Re: More Media Bias and

Re: More Media Bias and Slander, Disinformation etc by NG non-reader 22 Sep 2006 I can't find the original NG article. Could you post a link to it? Apparently Not On-Line? by regular reader 22 Sep 2006 I looked at the N-G website. Under Opinions, they only have today's opnions, with no link I could find to an archive. Basically, it was in last Sunday's paper. The most ironic part in it is where Foreman says the N-G runs opinions they don't agree with because they believe in free speech. I guess that applies, until you catch Foreman in a lie. The exact paragraph in question is: "(By the way, I also got a kick out of a writer who identified himself as a World War II veteran and explained that he only respected members of the military who served in the good wars. Might it be fair of me to assume he was a draftee who helped lick Hitler by peeling potatoes in Virginia? Heck, I'd respect him even for that.)" Well, maybe. It sounds a lot more like a whole paragraph of diss, with a tiny bit of a cherry on the end, as if this tiny tip of the hat disclaims the intent of the whole paragraph. Foreman obvioulsy and clearly intended to belittle Bob, his service, and his standing as a citizen and a veteran to critique the idiot/criminal president. Now, Foreman seems to be impervious to an appeal from Bob that he live up to the N-G's own policy on corrections: "The N-G strives to present fair and accurate reporting, and to correctany errors as promptly as possible." Maybe Foreman is hiding behind the figleaf of the editorial page, since it is not strictly speaking reportin. In that case, maybe Foreman should print a disclaimer on the editorial page saying: "We reserve the right to insult and lie about anyone in our editorials. We may -- or may not -- grant the right of reply, depending upon how stupid and vile it makes us look." I Was Thinking by citizen pained 22 Sep 2006 I wonder if it was Bob who pulled Bush's daddy out of the water after his plane went down with the other two crew members? Probably he didn't, but if so, that might be the only mistake I think Bob could be accussed of making. Yeah, this stinks. It's just like a Republican like Foreman to use our servicemembers as they please to whip up war fever and take people's minds off the issues, then cast them aside when they aren't the convenient tools they're expected to be for imperialism. Re: More Media Bias and Slander, Disinformation etc by BD 22 Sep 2006 We must remember that JF's infantile slander is typical of the NG bias. We can develop a rap sheet of the NG's ideological slant - please feel free to add to the list. -unfair reporting of Patrick Thompson trial. -downplaying of recent racial profiling statistics. -refusal to print editorials by Community Courtwatch members, including myself and Chris Evans. -failure to report repeated abuses of Sgt. William Alan Myers, jail guard caught tasing an inmate and found to have wrongly tased 3 other individuals. -refusal to print news about Champaign Police Chief Finney's son because NG journalists generally liked the Chief. C-U Citizens for Peace and Justice is meeting Saturday 4pm at IMC to discuss strategies for combined Unity March/NG protest/People's Day of Mobilization. Re: More Media Bias and Slander, Disinformation etc by karl roenfanz ( rosey ) 22 Sep 2006 could it be that their afraid of the police giving them tickets for imaginary crimes? or bowing to the political powers? thats what happens in evansville, ind. Re: More Media Bias and Slander, Disinformation etc by NG non-reader 22 Sep 2006 Thanks for quoting the paragraph about Bob. I'll make a couple comments. First, it's an opinion piece, not a news article, and although it's rude and disrespectful, it doesn't tell any outright lies, as far as I can tell. Apparently, the writer was ticked off that Bob said that he only respects members of the military who served in "good wars," which is basically the same as saying that he doesn't respect people who served in the "bad wars" (Vietnam and Iraq, I presume). If that's what Bob really said, I'd be upset at him too, because there were as many reasons for serving in those wars as there are people who served, and to make a blanket statement of disrespect towards those people is simply wrong. That said, Foreman's response was disrespectful (he was basically giving Bob a taste of his own medicine), but he didn't come out and say that Bob peeled potatoes. He just said that he "assumes" that from Bob's comments. A more appropriate response to Foreman's opinion would be to lambaste him in the opinion forum. Something of much greater concern is the NG's bias in selecting what news stories to report. Now THAT might be something worth picketing about. Re: More Media Bias and Slander, Disinformation etc by NG non-reader 22 Sep 2006 Thanks for the clarification. I agree that Foreman misrepresented what Bob wrote. Bob definitely didn't say or even imply that "he only respected members of the military who served in the good wars." Re: More Media Bias and Slander, Disinformation etc by NG non-reader 22 Sep 2006 My last comment would make more sense if Bob's original letter hadn't disappeared. Please repost it. Hot Tip: Use Distinct Titles by ML 22 Sep 2006 I got in for the evening, deleted a number of pages of spam comments, but didn't find any previous comments that had Bob's letter in it. It is possible that a previous comment was deleted and purged accidentally. Web editors here at UC IMC eliminate hundreds of spammed ad comments daily and, very occasionally, a legitimate comment may get taken out by accident. Since there is so much spam, we have to judge it mostly on the title alone whether or not it is a legitimate post. That is one big reason we are working to get the new website online ASAP. I wanted to let users know that this can happen. To prevent having your comment mistaken for spam, it is best to title any comment with a specific unique title so that it stands out. Definitely do NOT use any single word title or anything else like which sounds like it could be a spam email subject line. Do not use only someone's first name for a title, either. Spammers are not very creative about anything except jamming up your inbox, so most any comment title that you would delete in your email inbox without bothering to read gets the same treatment here. Do not rely on the auto-generated "Re:..." title when making comments. About half the spam is generated by bots to ustilize an old title, mostly to a couple of dozen old article titles the editors are already familiar with. However, since we often have to delete literally pages and pages of spam comments at a time by looking through them quickly, so that legitimate users' comments can be found and read easily by eliminating this trash that pushes legitimate comments far abck into the archives, it is possible a mistake can be made. We delete and purge spam comments by policy, completely taking them off the server, since they generate unwanted server loads, even if hidden, and most of them are variations on various phishing scams. If a mistake is made, then the only remedy is to repost something. Please bear with us and our apologies is a mistake happens. It is rare, but possible. A solution is in the works. Re: More Media Bias and Slander, Disinformation etc by Bob's letter to the N-G 24 Sep 2006 This is the letter to the N-G editor that Mr. Foreman "got a kick out of". As you can see there is no mention by Bob of him respecting only those who were in the "good wars". Seems like another example of N-G disinformation! Here is the original letter. Hopefully it won't disappear from the comment section this time: I was discouraged to read that a US military officer was a recent speaker at Carrrie Busey Elementary School in Champaign. I was even more surprised at his reaction when someone questioned the presentation he gave in uniform to young students. How can his presentation given in uniform (no matter how humorous or sincere) in which he tells about a country the US invaded and now occupies not be mistaken as an effort to put a happy face and spin on “A Glimpse of War”? No, many of us were not present in Kuwait in December of 2002 as the US prepared to invade. Nor were we in Iraq only 4 months after the March of 2003 invasion when Col. Rudzinski safely returned home. He hasn’t been back recently and so I doubt he knows the horrors his fellow soldiers are currently experiencing or the devastation of the innocent Iraqi civilians. I am former WWII military and I was disappointed in the disrespectful response from Col. Rudzinski. If he wants to call all of us fools who disagree with him and his “presentation” given in uniform then he will have a long and growing list of those he will have to designate as ignorant. The “bash America always” crowd as he disrespectfully calls us includes many like myself who love my country always, but my government (and fellow military) only when they deserve it! Re: More Media Bias and Slander, Disinformation etc by th0rn 24 Sep 2006 It's exactly stuff like this that makes me loathe the Snooze-Gazoo. Yes, please build the "rap sheet" post it prominently, and keep adding to it. The NG and Foreman are welcome to keep lying and propagandizing, but it should be easy for the public to discover what a bunch of scumbags they really are. Once the truth is widespread and irrefutable, their readership will start dropping off, and with it, their ad revenue. I'm sure it's already happening. Make a big noise, and keep screaming. Did I already say how much I loathe the NG? Re: More Media Bias and Slander, Disinformation etc by Patrick and Martel 25 Sep 2006 I Patrick Thompson and Martel Miller will be in attendance to help protest against the News-Gazette and we will also help promote the demonstration. The streets are ours -- to be used as we see fit. by Worker T. Rule 25 Sep 2006 Sisters and Brothers, I believe the question of whether or not it is appropriate to take the dialogue regarding FW Wahlfeldt to the streets and to the door step of the boss paper NG is first a question for the individual maligned, Bob himself, and second a question for the communities that are also affected by the ideological and personal assault perpetrated by the author and the editors of the paper. The rhetoric used against our friend and neighbor is nothing new or shocking. But we do not have to submit to the injury. And we do not need to be pacified by any persons who might identify in this case with the dominant values that define acceptable political debate and action in terms of courtesy and responding in boss or government controlled contexts. What could Bob or any of his friends or sympathizers expect from this paper when such attempts are made? Surely not fair treatment -- afterall, this attack was veiled as an opinion, but insead it was a pointed personal attack where our brother was singled out and then used for a general attack against dissent and dissenters. Thus, this INJURY TO ONE, became and INJURY TO ALL. What then are our choices? Well, we can expect that if our enemies received the same sort of attack the response would be with lawsuits, think tank media blitzes, and public addresses to defend their interests, in the contexts where they have the upper hand. My friends have taught me that those of us not enjoying power and wealth begin with two places of limited power in addition to the greatest source of our power: our labor, on the shop floor. The first is in our homes, for there are too many for the powerful to infiltrate, burn, or bulldoze. The second is in the street, for there are too many of us and too many of us watching for them to, in many cases, capture, fire on, or bomb out of existence. Obviously, the injury from the attack is not the same as the havoc unleashed on our brothers and sisters around the world using the bulk of the nation's tax dollars for the bombs and torture and rape and murderous wars. Nor is it as serious as the injuries brought on by the other bulk of our, used in the captivity and torture and rape that descends into institutional murder of our fellow citizens in the prison slave complex of the bosses and politicians. Or the injustice through the lack of taxes being spent for the health and welfare of our sisters who are raising our youngest brothers and sisters as single parents. And yet, the call has been made to respond to the injury by the NG. The attack was different than a theoretical or realistic criticism, which I think would make sense to respond to only in that forum. And I would not discount using this avenue to respond, as well. But, I do not believe whether or not to protest is a question of appropriateness in this case. I would hope to welcome criticism based on tactical and strategic grounds. Something like, "If you're going to be out in the street why not include some of the systematic abuses the NG doles out on a daily basis, such as it's biased coverage of violence in the schools that perpetuates racism in our culture to the harm of African Americans, and, as a result, everyone to varying degrees." Or, "Why has the NG not covered the suffering of the GI's returning from combat and the complete lack of healthcare they receive -- that's issue to include when you're demanding some respect!" Or, "Why stop at a protest, why not demonstrate the problem with the paper by...because it continually fails to give a perspective that is structurally critical of the status quo rather than the superficial commentary provided by what serves as the liberal perspective." This type of dialogue will assist us with building the many movements for justice into one. So that individually and collectively we can see as resistance all responses to classism, as exemplified by the 'potato-peeler' comment, or the racism ennacted in the coverage of our schools, or the homophobia apparent in the omission of coverage of the gay marriage movement as an equal rights struggle - rather than a politician's movement, which is actually going to limit our rights by constitutional amendment. At any point people take to the streets it is an inspiration to us all, even when it is tactically or strategically flawed. At any point an individual or group stands in opposition to oppression it is our duty to join with them in what ways we believe to be tactically and strategically effective. I hope that when I am in the line of fire my friends will come to my side, and I hope those who hear of it will support us as well. As for this protest, I expect it will be effective at showing we will not be intimidated to shy away from simply speaking our mind. And that we will come to each other's defense when we are attacked personally or as a group. I expect the media, and NG in particular, if they chose to cover the event, will attempt to spin it as the left trying to censor the media. Ironic, since self-censorship may be their greatest achievement. More importantly, I believe we will rise from our homes or safe places where we build our solidarity with eachother and go into public places to reach out to the community to plan the protest, and on into the streets, we will again prove that the spirit of freedom is not dead and that we can unite in ways that each of our individual and group voices can be heard to defend our interests and build the solutions to tyranny today, as is our hope for everyday. As for planning on-line, that's pretty difficult. It's hard for me to develop trust or even know who I'm addressing. for One Big Union, Worker T. Rule Re: More Media Bias and Slander, Disinformation etc by Altazor 25 Sep 2006 Time to stand up!?!? This time... Bring pots and pans to bang on, out of tune trumpets, drums, madness and rage!! Be Surreal... have fun... and make some REAL F@#$%ing noise for a change! No more 'polite,' "If you please sir?" BS.

It's worth reading Foreman's

It's worth reading Foreman's original article -- and no I don't know where/whether it's on line, but read Grandpa's paper copy a few weeks ago. What Foreman is saying isn't the simple slander that it appears here -- it's a little more subtle, but still gross. He quotes another letter (maybe from David Green?) talking, IIRC, about the injustice in motivation and effect of the use of US military power in Iraq and elsewhere. Foreman claims that the America-bashers who say this are making baseless assumptions. This he follows with another baseless assumption of his own, the slander against Grandpa Bob. Of course, his readers (even those who agree with him) will see that this potato-peeler stuff is baseless. Foreman wants us to draw a parallel -- if he shouldn't "assume" that Grandpa did nothing more than peeling potatoes in the military, then we're just as unjustifiied in "assuming" that our military power is being used for imperial purposes, for terrorizing civilian populations, etc. (Sorry to David or whoever wrote the letter Foreman quoted -- I'm sure I am misquoting your argument -- just trying to give a sense of what Foreman was up to.) *That's* what we should be complaining about. Foreman indeed has no basis for calling Grandpa a potato peeler, but we have very good reasons to argue that our military is being improperly used. If we only complain that his assumption about Grandpa Bob is wrong and slanderous, Foreman can just smugly say that we're merely proving his point, and that we're being slanderous too. - Stuart Levy

Referring to PBN&S article on Wood County Tea Party

Referring to PBN&S article on Wood County Tea Party

To Whom it May Concern:

Writing in regards to the two page spread in Parkersburg News & Sentinel’s last Sunday’s Extra section about the Wood County Tea Party, I am amazed. I am happy for the Wood County Tea Party to receive such an honor. However, the comparisons with the Parkersburg Tea Party were unjustified. They were nothing more than another of the many attempts by this newspaper to undermine The Parkersburg Tea Party.

During the past three years, Parkersburg Tea Party has been very active within our community. When citizens cried out about the imposition of the user fee and other frivolous spending by our Mayor, Parkersburg Tea Party responded with a recall petition. Members worked very hard to get the signatures needed. We had never attempted anything similar, so it was a lot of work studying the legalities, proper forms, and the city charter’s specifications. Although support for the recall was very strong, few people wanted to help collect signatures. However, the signatures were eventually collected, and by the time everything was ready to go, the organization from Utah which was supposed to be sending us a lawyer, to challenge the deadline the city tried to impose, had vanished. Their website was removed, and emails to the founders bounced back. Even phone numbers were disconnected. This left us with nearly 4000 signatures, and nobody to represent us.

Our organization runs solely on donations, which are few and far between. Our website costs $239 per year, and donations have barely covered that cost. Attorney David Huffman has donated money to cover our Christmas parties every year, along with various donations of door prizes.

Now, getting back to Parkersburg News coverage: First of all, Sunday’s article stated that David Huffman said that we “endorse candidates”: No, we do not, nor have we ever. He was misquoted. We began as a non-partisan organization and have fought to remain as one. We do not have the support of either major political party. When I decided to start a Tea Party in Parkersburg, I had never heard of the Wood County Tea Party. I met with Corrina Francis, who was retiring and looking for someone to take over the Wood County Tea Party. She stated at that time that she thought I would do a good job. So, the board members of the Parkersburg Tea Party attended Wood County Tea Party, paid to join the organization, and began to learn a little about their objectives, which were very different from ours. Then, in electing Mr. Winkler, Mrs. Francis actually told members who to vote for. She is adamantly against prayer, and I had told her I would not hold a meeting without saying a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. She had decided I was not to be on the ballot, but after members complained, she begrudgingly put me on it. Mr. Winkler and another gentleman won by 2 votes. The other gentleman quit and gave Winkler the Presidency within a month.

Mountaintop removal is a great travesty in West Virginia, but has very little to do with Wood County. Their other main topic was homo-sexuality. Ms. Francis had been very active in her younger years, fighting against homo-sexuality. Unlike the Parkersburg Tea Party, whose values are God, Family and country, who does not exclude homosexuals from our meetings, as we figure that is between that person and their maker. We are not to judge. Anyone is welcome to Parkersburg Tea Party meetings, regardless of politics, or sexual preferences. We are all creatures of God. And, unlike Wood County Tea Party, we say a prayer before every meeting, which is strictly prohibited by Ms. Francis at the Wood County Tea Party. She believes it falls under separation of church and state, even though the US Congress says a prayer before every session.

In the beginning, Parkersburg News seemed fair towards Parkersburg Tea Party. They covered our first rally of nearly 600 people, in the pouring rain, although they understated our attendee’s numbers. From there it seemed to go downhill. We have purchased several ads trying to promote our group, to later be trashed in so-called articles, ranging from their attack on our status as a corporation, by saying we claimed to be non-profit, which is untrue, to being attacked for fair usage of portions of a PBN&S photo for political satire. Although I knew I was within my rights under the Fair use clause in copyright law, I removed the photo from our website after a very rude and condescending phone call from the editor.

It has come to the point that the editor, on numerous occasions has attacked Parkersburg Tea Party. I realize this is what journalism seems to be about these days. However, the October 3rd blog by Editor Jim Smith was plainly inexcusable. The title: Hypocrisy Strikes Again speaks again, of a local Tea Party activist. This concerned the levy put on our ballot which contained funding for our local library, airport and veteran’s museum. The measure lost by a few votes. The point is obviously that the person Mr. Jim Smith is referring to is blinded Vietnam Veteran David Huffman, who supported the levy, because of the veteran’s museum. For several years Mr. Huffman has and continues to support the museum to the tune of $1500 per month. Mr. Huffman is one of Parkersburg’s most charitable people. He would give a homeless person the shirt off his own back.

A month ago Parkersburg Tea Party held a collection point, along with other local businesses for stockings for the troops program. David donated $200. I submitted a press release to the PBN&S about this effort, thinking Mr. Smith might have enough decency to at least print something in the community section, but, alas… to no avail.

On December 12, Parkersburg Tea Party held a Christmas Party/meeting, which is always open to the public. Again, I submitted a blurb about it into the community groups section, which was never printed.

Mr. Jim Smith is a very arrogant and at times, just plain mean individual. I have no idea why he detests the Parkersburg Tea Party so much. Our group is disliked by the Democratic Party and by the local Republican Party, but that is to be expected. We were formed because of dissatisfaction from members of both parties. Fair and balanced news reporting does not exist in Parkersburg, I am sorry to say. This is so reminiscent of politics. On several occasions, stories concerning unpaid taxes and other important occurrences here in Parkersburg have been brought to my attention, only to have been printed in Charleston Newspapers. Just because a person is friends with Mr. Smith is no excuse to not print the stories, that I have researched myself, where a certain individual owes the city of Parkersburg millions of dollars in back taxes. Whenever such things are brought up in comment sections they are promptly removed, even though, with a little research, these facts are public knowledge.

As I began this letter, I am glad the Wood County Tea Party, no matter how few members they have, is getting some attention, but to compare it to Parkersburg Tea Party was unfair. We were painted as a right-wing organization that is in this for profit, which is totally false. We have run every year at a loss, which can easily be verified by our accountant. These things have been expressed to Parkersburg News reporter Jody Murphy on several occasions, only to be shoved under the rug. It seems the Parkersburg News editor Jim Smith is hell-bent on destroying our organization.

We will not be purchasing any further advertisement from this publication. Why feed the hand that bites you? We will use less biased forms of advertising, such as WTAP, our local TV station, and our local radio ads. I only hope this changes in the future. It is my feeling, and many others that Mr. Smith is very similar to a dirty politician. Being fair and non-biased should be a part of his job description. Playing favorites and holding vendetta’s is no way to run a newspaper. The harm he has done to our organization is irreversible. By harming our organization, he is also hurting our country’s chances of healing.


Sandy Staats

Director, Parkersburg Tea Party

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