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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Daily Times Shows SBY Election Bias

The Daily Times seems hell bent on queering this year’s Salisbury mayoral / council elections just like they’ve tried every other time in recent memory.  Will they be successful?  We’ll know next week.
After a series of scandals destroyed what little credibility remained at Salisbury’s Daily Times, new publisher Tom Claybaugh and managing editor Michael Kilian faced a tough choice.  Change the paper’s ways or simply try to move down the same biased path that has cost them subscribers and readers.
All the News That We WANT to Print
To most of us, changing the paper’s ways is obviously the best path.  In an industry that appears to be dying, regaining credibility amongst readers is a good place to start if you want to rebuild.  The Daily Times can claim some good young reporters.  They’ve shown that, when allowed, they can provide good, accurate coverage of local news.  Alas, Claybaugh and Kilian have decided on a darker path.  Rather than report all of the news, the DT seems determined to only run stories which aid their preferred candidates.
How can I make such a claim?  Haven’t they run stories critical of Jim Ireton?  One!  Haven’t they run stories critical of Jake Day?  Less than one.  Who really cares that Day has a heavy foot?  I’m not claiming that the DT has savaged Joe Albero or Debbie Campbell.  They haven’t.  That’s the Daily Times of old.  Besides, like Katherine Crowell four years ago, I don’t believe that Jeremy Cox would allow his name to be put on pieces that are riddled with lies and innuendo.  No, the DT is playing the stealth game.
Where is the story on Joe Albero’s economic development plan?  Where is a thoughtful analysis of Jake Day’s slick manifesto (which you can’t even download from his site anymore)?  Where is an analysis of Jim Ireton’s attempt to raise taxes (more than once) while he claims that he never raised your taxes (technically accurate, but worth at least four Pinnochio’s over at the WaPo)?  Where is the story about Ireton and Day’s lack of basic math skills (how do to add 500 residential units downtown, plus commercial space when you have less than 100 available parking spots (after you have sold off all of the riverfront lots – which has merit – plus Lot 1 between the library and the plaza?).  WHERE is the story about national real estate interests doing a mailing for Jake Day?
They’re no where to be found.  Why?  Mr. Kilian doesn’t want the public to learn too much about the candidates running for office.  If they did, the DT’s favored candidates wouldn’t stand much of a chance.  Unfortunately, things are worse on the op-ed side of the shop thanks to Mr. Claybaugh and op-ed editor Susan Parker.
WE Decide the News, WE Decide YOUR Opinion
Have you bothered to ask yourself why there haven’t been many letters to the editor in support of Joe Albero or Debbie Campbell?  The answer is simple … the Daily Times won’t print them. 
I’ve only been sent letters regarding Mrs. Campbell’s race, but it seems that they are (almost) all too long, too short, too critical of Jim Ireton, too critical of Barrie Tilghman, too critical of other council members, too critical of the weather, printed on the wrong color paper or using the wrong type of ink.  NOW (from Monday’s paper) …
In other words, we will print your letter to editor IF it doesn’t talk about ANY issue other than the issues WE (the DT) deem worthy of having an opinion about.  Now, it’s the op-ed page.  They certainly have a right to print whatever they want.  Just don’t claim to be the voice of the community.
So… here’s what you can expect between now and Friday:
Dear Editor,
I’ve known Jake Day since he was at James M. Bennett HS.  He planted a garden.  He’s a good guy.  He went to some fancy schools.  He’s in the Army.  He’s a nice guy.  He has lots of ideas but I can’t talk about them because Jake doesn’t want the voters asking too many questions about the cost.
Signed – Someone who probably doesn’t live in Salisbury.
Messrs. Claybaugh and Kilian can be very proud of the business they are running into the ground.
G. A. Harrison is a former editor of SBYNews and a regular contributor.  He also writes at the DelMarVa Observer.  This article was excerpted from his Media Monday column.


Anonymous said...

"After a series of scandals destroyed what little credibility remained..."
What scandals?

Anonymous said...

GA -- good post, but face it: the DT managers have now boxed themselves in, because the lost readers, etc., will never return. So their only course is to try to retain the idiots that continue to pay for and consume their BS.

Anonymous said...

No they haven't changed. I was also disappointed at a story they ran a few days ago about farming and women. While it was a good story it wasn't local. No reason why with all the farming on Delmarva, which a lot of women take an active role in, that they couldn't have done a local story.

Anonymous said...

"Dear Editor,
I’ve known Jake Day since he was at James M. Bennett HS. He planted a garden. He’s a good guy. He went to some fancy schools. He’s in the Army. He’s a nice guy. He has lots of ideas but I can’t talk about them because Jake doesn’t want the voters asking too many questions about the cost.
Signed – Someone who probably doesn’t live in Salisbury."

LOL-You forgot to mention that he's got "honor" and "integrity." All the letters seemed to contain these descriptives. It's like someone handed out a letter to the editor template because writers used all the same buzzwords and verbiage.

Anonymous said...

Where's the great story about the redevelopment of River's Edge. That's right, they can't possibly print that. It represents long awaited relief from a failed and blighted property to a new and better use WITHOUT subsidies from the city...that will help to stimulate the economy and create something very special in Salisbury that other communities like Snow Hill and Berlin would love to have. Oh, that's right. It would be hard to write that story without giving Debbie Campbell credit for working collaboratively with the developer to get a marquis development that will be an asset to the community and got unanimous approval. They might also need to mention her very impressive credentials when it comes to revitalization and the millions that she has already brought to Salisbury.

Anonymous said...

What they need to do is post the candidate resumes and pedigree. They have done that in past elections, why not now? We need to know the candidates residential history, educational background and verify their career credentials.

G. A. Harrison said...

Anon 0703 -

The DT will admit to the "Phone Spoof" incident. However, the biggest scandal was one of their reporters actively taking part in partisan political meetings and then the paper printing the group's "message" as news.

Have you ever asked yourself why, after years of service, the DT cleaned out its news editors? Carmean didn't have anything to do with the "phone spoof". Neither did Bassett.

While I can't confirm it, I think Gannett just got fed up. Going back to when Carmean was a reporter, the paper has had a serious problem with reporting city news. Far too often they printed easily provable lies. The DT's response had been - when the heat gets too much, promote the offender to editor. I just don't think that washed anymore.

Anonymous said...

The so called Jake Day Vision For Salisbury manifesto is nothing more than a consultant report for another city. I see it all the time. They just copy and paste different parts and change the city name. No big deal, Jake Day stole this consultant report from another city.

Anonymous said...

This is an eye opening post. I knew the DT was baaaaaad, but I didn't know they actually told people they couldn't comment on anything the DT hadn't reported on!

Does the DT get declared as "in kind" or whatever you call it on any of the candidate disclosures?

I hope more people cancel their subscriptions. I did a couple years ago and don't miss it a bit.

Anonymous said...

It's actually far worse than you know. I work at the newspaper and I see it everyday. You should see how these out of town New York crew members sneak into each others offices and close the doors and confab together. They are hatching 'get them' and formulating their agendas. I used to like working here. Seemed like we were a group doing good. Now it feels like we are out to get people. I don't like that feeling. The worse is yet to come. I can see it close. Just watch. The need to feel important is stronger the the need to do what's right. Joe Albero is their target number one.

Anonymous said...

I have yet to find a msm around here that isn't biased in some way. Wboc is downright pathetic and only reports a tiny portion of what really goes on here. The worst part is there are people in the general public locally that believe this area is relatively crime free and will argue with you when you start stating facts that it's not. Keeping the local ignorance threshold high. I can't wait to move from this negative infested place.