Media Monday – February 25, 2013

Daily Times Attempts to Control Election
While I have been pleased to recently discuss an immense improvement on the NEWS pags of the Daily Times, Susan Parker’s op-ed pages have taken a serious turn for the worse.  From op-eds calling on elected officials to violate the law to refusing to publish letters to the editor that they don’t agree with, the DT seems to be attempting an undue influence on the current Salisbury city elections.

Wait a second G.A., you’ve always maintained that a paper should print ANYTHING it chooses on the op-ed page.

You’re right!  I have no problem with the DT, or any other outlet, saying anything it wants PROVIDED that it’s labeled “opinion”.  However, I do have a problem with the DT claiming that its op-ed page serves as an outlet for community opinion.  They would be more honest if they simply admitted that their op-ed pages serve as an outlet for community opinion that THEY AGREE WITH.
A great example is a letter submitted last week by Kay Gibson of Salisbury.  While you can read it on SBYNews, you won’t see it on the pages of the Daily Times.  Why?  Parker and her boss, General Manager Tom Claybaugh, don’t want any criticism of Jake Day to appear prior to Tuesday’s primary.  They don’t want to risk voters learning the truth and possibly showing up and casting their ballots for the evil incumbent, Debbie Campbell.
Why was Gibson’s letter so offensive that the Daily Times doesn’t want you read it?  Gibson has the temerity to expose the poor behavior and rank stupidity of councilwomen  Laura Mitchell and Shanie Shields while also noting that Day is taking, at least, some of his talking points from Mitchell.
Unlike most letters to the editor, Gibson’s piece calls on readers to do something that Claybaugh, Parker and crew evidently fear most – examine the facts and draw your own conclusion!  Gibson cites the URL where readers can listen to the council meeting she refers to.  Because she’s limited to 250 words, Gibson is limited to presenting more facts:
  • Mitchell’s and Day’s “statements of fact” that Salisbury’s proposed requirement for ownership information on all corporations and LLC’s who do business with the city, buy or sell real estate from/to Salisbury, or appear before the Board of Zoning Appeals is “unprecedented” doesn’t hold water.  The last time I checked, the city of Frederick was in the state of Maryland.  Salisbury is PART of Wicomico County, where the county council has a similar policy.  The state of Maryland also has a similar policy.  So Laura, so Jake, what’s so “unprecedented”.
What were Parker’s “reasons” for refusing to publish Gibson’s letter?  According to Gibson, Parker claims that there wasn’t sufficient time to provide others a chance to respond before the election.  Gibson requested that the DT provide its reasons in writing (via email).  She’s still waiting.
On the same day that Parker refused to publish Gibson’s letter, I happened to bump into Kay at the DT’s second community forum on city election issues.  Claybaugh was also in attendance.  I pointed him out to Gibson and suggested that she speak to him about her letter.  As expected, Claybaugh defended Parker.  It didn’t matter that their reasoning was suspect, at best, and laughable at worst.  Look at any of the letters published in support of Jake Day.  Parker and the DT consider that “respectable opinion”.  Then examine Gibson’s letter.  Gibson actually had the gall to include evidence to back up her opinion.
We also need to remember that Parker, and her paper, have a history of this behavior.  Four years ago a letter was submitted before the election in support of Debbie Campbell.  Parker’s reason for not publishing that letter was a need to “fact check” the elderly lady’s opinion.  I wonder how many letters in support of Jake Day that Parker has withheld for “fact checking”.
 I also heard Claybaugh make some rather disparaging remarks about the city council after his conversation with Gibson.  Given that the DT’s long term narrative has been that the council doesn’t “function well” because of Campbell, Terry Cohen, and Tim Spies it is little wonder that Claybaugh wouldn’t want Gibson’s letter published before a primary election.  Gibson actually attends council meetings.  I wonder how many meetings Day attended prior to his announcement as a candidate?  I also wonder how council meetings Parker and Claybaugh have attended.
Times are tough for Claybaugh and his paper.  I’m not talking about the (to me) regrettable decline in the newspaper business.  No, I’m talking about the DT’s lack of an overt agenda on their news pages.  In the past the newpaper attempted to control city politics by printing news that was a combination of half-truths and blatant lies.  Unfortunately, that’s a tad difficult today.  Cox is the best city reporter they’ve had since Catherine Crowell (no, I don’t agree with everything he writes).  Claybaugh and his minions have to rein themselves in after being caught letting one of their reporters take part in partisan political activity and handing over the paper’s pages to said reporter.  Now the reporter and the city editor have left.  This was followed by the quiet dismisal of their Executive Editor.  They have wait a while before they can go back to using the news pages as blatant progaganda.
In the meantime the editorial pages will have to do.
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Comments

  1. GA – Are you aware that XXX XXXXXX, the former presidential candidate that Albero supposedly was a press secretary for, and also the person that registered Albero’s website, Alberoformayor.com, is associated with lifestyle activities that probably Joe wouldn’t want to be associated with? If you do a Whois search for Alberoformayor.com, austinmn@hotmail.com is the email address. Search that email address in google using quotes. That email address is used at online Swinger sites and is also listed as an online predator. XXX XXXXXX uses that email address as demonstrated in the Whois lookup.

    Fans of Albero take pleasure in noting Ireton being gay. I don’t think his fans would want to know Albero associates himself with swingers.

    • G. A. Harrison says:

      Please note that I edited your comment slightly. Since I don’t have time to fully research your claim, I didn’t want the guy’s name posted.

      As for the comment itself, no I am not aware of anything like that about the person. Second, yes I know that some SBYNews readers like to make backhanded comments about Jim’s sexual orientation. That’s their right, but I certainly don’t approve. My attitude towards these things is considered odd by some folks. I don’t consider someone’s sexual orientation unless either they have told me themselves OR they stand up in public and confirm it. In Jim’s case, both apply. It’s his business.

      IF he wanted to get married in my parish, I’d have a problem. If he want’s to be a member of my parish, that’s his right. Remember, we are ALL wretched sinners, eternally separated from God but for the saving Grace of Jesus Christ.

      • GA — your fans are awaiting your analysis of Tuesday’s primary results. We have to stop this Jake Day train and fast.

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