Friday, June 29, 2007
More Susan Demas
I should have mentioned this sooner...
Once again, the pages of the Battle Creek Enquirer
carry a harsh message for Congressman Tim Walberg, thanks to editor Susan Demas. A sample:
The press is in the business of reporting the truth about officials' voting records, platforms, finances and campaign ads.
Naturally, these goals often clash. As a result, Walberg and his staff refuse to answer my questions, provide information on his votes and inform me of his public events.
As an editor, I can't even assign a reporter to cover something as simple as the Tipton Republican's earmarks in the federal budget - as was the case last week - because I'm not privy to his press releases.
In short, I can't do my job to inform the public - and you lose.
What you should care about is that the congressman doesn't much care for you, either, because he is actively squelching your right to know.
Even more troubling is his hypocrisy. In a flowery, self-congratulatory column in last Friday's Detroit Free Press, Walberg metamorphosed into the media's biggest champion, sounding his support for the Free Flow of Information Act. It's a federal shield bill for journalists, protecting us from prosecution if we won't reveal a confidential source's name.
But who will protect the press from Tim Walberg?
You really should go read the whole thing
, if you haven't already. Also, an anonymous commenter
included the entire article in the comments of the Video Challenge post.UPDATE:
I've been reading through the discussion pages
for this article on the Enquirer
's website. Lots of personal attacks, with lots of people claiming that Susan Demas is a bad journalist, or one of them "lib'ruls" out to ruin the country. But then came this, by someone called Spartyno1:
Just as the primaries turn out the base, storychat turns out the fringes.
The Walberg faithful and conservatives want to paint Demas into a liberal corner (as she openly predicted) while playing on the stereotype of the emotional woman, while the liberals/leftists want to lump Walberg in with Bush and play into the whole cycle of corruption charge.
Both sides are overly emotional and miss the main point, which is:
Walberg is evasive, and does not answer direct questions.
That is harmful to the community.
It needs to stop.
Plus, Walberg is guilty of the highest level of hypocrisy claiming that he loves journalists when he is not willing to answer their questions.
If you voted for Schwarz, and truly supported him, chances are, you know the spelling of his last name. If however, you are a Walberg supporter, and you don't want to look partisan, you are more likely to say, "I voted for him, but now I've changed my mind..."
In fact this tack works for any candidate.
Some, but not all press releases are on Walberg's website, meaning that we still miss a great deal of valuable information.
Walberg's voting record can be found, but it's a journalist's job find out WHY he voted in that way.
Demas does that, and she is punished for her effort.
That is what is unsettling here, not Walberg's views or his policies.
Walberg has done many fine things, so why not be willing to talk about them?
To add salt to the wound he feels the need to send his press secretary to perform his evasive maneuvers.
How often does Walberg himself get quoted?
How often does he have town hall meetings?
Little, and not enough, respectively.
And it is a very valid question to ask about his feelings toward a prospective opponent.
If we can spend half the time in the media talking about the next president, I believe we can spend five minutes discussing our next representative.
Here's the thing about Demas that most of you guys don't get.
She DOES have an agenda and a bias.
Her agenda is to find the truth, and she is biased toward people that are forthcoming with it.
Demas doesn't take kindly to receiving press releases (when they're available) and running with them blindly.
She'll let some pissant weekly in Hillsdale County do that.
She digs deep, finds validations, researches, talks to experts, and then double checks everything to make absolutely certain you know the unspun, unfiltered truth.
You know, the kind of things reporters are SUPPOSED to do.
(If any of you have a blog out there, rest easy, you will never be held up to any standards, have no editors, do not need to notate, factcheck, or verify unreliable sources, and can feel free to pull anything out of your sleeves at will. )
If she did as you asked, and instructed her reporters to be stenographers, her job would be so much nicer.
Do you know easy it is to just wait for the next spun comment from a press secretary, and print it?
Go to any liberal blog and you'll see it in spades.
Pardon me, but I must have missed the lovefest from the MI left when "hippy liberal" Demas ripped Granholm for being misguided and ineffective.
So, for all the extra work a good honest journalist does, they get rewarded with what?
Avoidance, threats, and puff piece columns about loving the media while simultaneously stonewalling it.
AND YOU'RE DEFENDING WALBERG'S RIGHT TO DO IT?
Many of you are either letting him off the hook or saying you want to hear it in a nicer timbre.
Folks, this ain't morning latte!
We pay Rep Walberg a six figure salary to make decisions for us. It is a fundament right of each and every one of us to find out why he makes those decisions.
It's not liberal.
It's not conservative
And it's certainly not a personally biased emotional decision.
It is a requirement for all honest journalists to find the truth about what the policymakers of this country are doing and why.
And it's nice to know that we still have someone with the balls to go out and get it.
Well said. This gets to the very heart of the issue.
Labels: 110th Congress, Susan Demas, Tim Walberg