Friday, June 02, 2006

Attack Journalism 101

'The Woodlander' is a throw back to another time. The 18th century to be exact. Back when towns and cities had hundreds of small newspapers and tabloid sheets to feed the publics hunger for information, entertainment and mud throwing of the most viscous type. I still haven't finished the whole 'paper', I couldn't stop laughing. I wish 'The Woodlander' was on-line, I couldn't find it, but it may be out there somewhere. He even print cartoons that make the targets of his scorn look like the worst bunch of criminals and scoundrels you could imagine.

'The Woodlander' comes out every few years, right before the election and just slams and outright slanders local politicians the writer doesn't like. This year's target - Matt Rexroad the Mayor of Woodland and candidate for Yolo County Supervisor, 3rd district. I don't know where the Woodlander crossed paths with Mr. Rexroad, but safe to say, this guy flat out hates the air he breaths.

I know Matt, we have met at a few functions and I consider him to be a good guy and a smart politician. I don't live in the City of Woodland and never had to apply for a building permit or business license, so I really can't comment one way or another on his leadership as Mayor.

That being said, I guess it comes with the territory, if you want to live in the public eye, you just painted a big target on your chest and had better be prepared for slings and arrows. I am a big proponent of a free press, you can print almost anything, libel and slander can get in you in trouble, but for the most part, you can print your opinions until the cows come home and I will stand up for your right to do so. However, with that freedom comes some responsibility. Give your readers a little disclosure, who are you, what are your beliefs, what are your affiliations. In short, what dog do have in the fight?

Back in the infancy of our nation, people who wanted information were forced to chose between papers on one side of an issue and papers taking the opposite position. You could read both and decide who you believed, if you believed any of them. Today the press is supposed to be independent, publishing the unvarnished facts and letting the reader decide what is going on. Scandal sheets like 'The Woodlander' have their place in the process I guess, but I wish they would state their case without the outright character assassination that is so easy to engage in.

1 comment:

Yolo Cowboy said...

Update: I found him. Here is his site.