While I was doing some poking around for information on the Watertown Mayoral race in light of Rushmore PAC doing advocacy work for Mayor Steve Thorson, I came across an interesting Facebook post from Watertown City Councilman Mike Danforth taking the local newspaper, the Watertown Public Opinion, to task for what has allegedly been a trend of bias in the race against the mayor:
WHY DID SO MANY OF OUR COMMUNITY MEMBERS AND BUSINESS PEOPLE WHO SUPPORT MAYOR THORSON FEEL INTIMDATED IN SUPPORTING THE MAYOR PUBLICALLY IN THEIR OWN COMMUNITY, AND THUS SUPPORTED MAYOR THORSON VIA THIS PAC?
The answer: They were afraid of retaliation, and I don’t blame them. You see, the “Power of the Pen” per se, a.k.a. the Public Opinion, has been used historically and repeatedly against those that differ from their “Opinion”, which in most cases can be translated into “Agenda”.
Now, the Hypocrisy: How does the money from this PAC, with money from local community members, differ all that much from the manner in which the Public Opinion has supported Ms. Caron in her mayoral race against Mayor Thorson, and the obvious bias from the repeated and misleading articles from Mr. Johnson? The Public Opinion is owned by out-of-state interests. Is there a bias edict coming from Corporate? I would hope the answer is NO, but I don’t know that.
So it then comes down to local people working at the Public Opinion, trying to sell newspapers, and in the process, trying to persuade our voters on how to vote. How does that differ from the local community members trying to support their candidate of choice, without being retaliated against? These people are not used to the negative, misleading, and vindictive approach Ms. Caron has used throughout her campaign, nor are they typically politically involved to this extent, so they have used one of the few tools available to them (and legal by all means). And now, today, the Public Opinion calls “Foul”.
Well maybe, just maybe, the PAC isn’t the problem. Maybe in this case, it is our own local newspaper and the “Opinions” (a.k.a. Agendas).
Is the Watertown Public Opinion (or at least some of the people there) exhibiting an obvious bias? Are they being hypocritical in this case?
What are your thoughts?