Bob Mercer is reporting today that the South Dakota Newspaper Association is taking a dim view of accusations of fake news, in particular those made recently by Secretary of State Shantel Krebs against the media for reporting on her endorsement by Kansas SOS Kris Kobach, and whether she supports a “Federal Muslim Registry”:
Many of you saw the campaign email from Shantel Krebs earlier this week headlined: “More Fake News from the Mainstream Media.” Shantel begins her email with: “It’s no surprise, but the mainstream media is once again pushing fake news and inaccurate reporting. Each election year their liberal agenda becomes more apparent.” She ends the email asking supporters to “take a stand against FAKE news” and make a donation to her campaign.
It’s apparent that Shantel was referring to a story in the South Dakota press over a period of a few days last week regarding Kansas Sec. of State Kris Kobach coming to Sioux Falls to endorse her campaign. The story became larger when state Sen. Neil Tapio, who has said he plans to run for Congress, put out a statement asking Shantel to clarify where she stands on a proposed “federal Muslim registry.” Kobach has been outspoken about tightening federal immigration laws and policies. Kobach’s immigration comments and stands have generated controversy.
The story about Tapio/Krebs/Kobach also was in the political blogs in the state, including Dakota War College and Dakota Free Press.
It appears to me the reporting on this story by South Dakota journalists was done accurately and was straight forward. My hunch is that Shantel was caught off guard and stung by the Tapio statement and was upset that the news media reported it. Was it fair for the press to pick up on and report about a statement from someone who says he intends to run but has not yet officially declared? I think so. Tapio already is in public office as a state senator from Watertown. He was Trump’s state campaign chairman, and he has been pretty clear about his intentions to run for Congress. Plus, Kobach has been very outspoken about immigration and has attracted controversy for his statements and positions. So it is natural that if Shantel is going to accept his endorsement, people are going to ask her about Kobach’s controversies.
Absolutely she and other candidates should call out and criticize any reporting that is false or intentionally misleading. But to attack the press for what has been demonstrated as accurate and fair news reporting should not be tolerated.