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 PrintTo 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 OpinionHave 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) …
So… here’s what you can expect between now and Friday:
Dear Editor,Messrs. Claybaugh and Kilian can be very proud of the business they are running into the ground.
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.
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.