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LINCOLN NEWSPAPER CORRUPTS ELECTION PROCESS
Posted on Thursday, May 27 @ 03:06:33 CDT by van

News and Views In years gone by the City of Lincoln, Nebraska, the states capitol, had two newspapers. The morning paper, the Lincoln Star, was considered the left-leaning Democrat dominated periodical. In the afternoon, we had the Lincoln Journal which was deemed by many to be the conservative, business oriented, Republican paper. Even though the Seacrest family owned both, the news was the news and the opinion or editorial page was just that. A couple of dozen years back, the two papers merged and was subsequently acquired by Lee Enterprises, and Iowa based corporation. The quality and quantity of news published daily by the sole remaining newspaper has become increasingly disgraceful!

It is important to note that the Lincoln Journal Star Newspaper does employ reporters who are capable of ferreting out the news in our city and state, but the heavy editorial hand of the left-leaning highly partisan editorial staff controls what actually "gets into print" to the extent that it has, in my opinion, lost any semblance of objectivity in what is spoon-fed to its subscribers.

"You had better not take on a publication that buys ink by the barrels and paper by the rolls." That was an admonition passed on to political aspirants and community leaders a couple of decades ago. Now that the Lincoln Journal Star buys its ink and paper in rail car load quantities its probably even more dangerous, but the medium of the Internet is slowly but surely ripping apart the monopoly held by the dominant print media. And so it is that vansopinion.com, while still being read by only a thousand or so folks a day (but growing) can dare to share with the people information which editors and advertising sales people choose to keep away from the public. Additionally, this new vehicle allows me an avenue to expose some of the dastardly doings and devious deeds of those who have not only bent the news to the breaking point, but in my opinion, have corrupted and continue to corrupt the free American election process.

Here's how it works. If a candidate for public office is believed to be one that will place large expensive ads in the paper, news stories are bent and warped in the direction of such candidate or candidates. Haven't you noticed the paper makes it a point to publish the amount of money donated and by whom to candidates prior to the primary and general elections. Far, far less emphasis is given to what candidates have to offer the people and the state than how well candidates or their campaign manager are at raising donations. As a friend of mine in Washington, D.C. told me a while back, "Its all about money." Now I believe him.

Certainly the paper has a right to editorialize and even to endorse candidates, that's to be expected, but to print candidate "slates" and a summary of endorsements in the editorial on the day before and sometimes of each election is nothing more than an unreported diversion of corporate funds into certain campaigns which I frankly believe to be totally unprofessional if not also unlawful.

Consider these facts. The "Editorial Board" of the Journal Star is composed of Bill Johnston, Publisher (registered Non-Partisan); Kathleen Rutledge - Kooser, Editor (registered Democrat); Steve Thomas, Managing Editor (registered Democrat) and Gordon Winters, Opinion Page Editor (registered Non-Partisan). Thus, Democrat candidates, even in non-partisan races, have a substantial advantage over Republican candidates. Of course, there are exceptions. Republican who have no opponents always get the paper's endorsement. Republicans who turn up with the most money (but not necessarily the most qualifications) get the paper's endorsement. Republicans who are hand-wringing liberals (and yes there are unfortunately some of those) probably are next in the "periodical's political pecking order."

Lowest on the list of those whose releases will ever get published or have letters from supporters ever published in the "Letters to the Editor" are ones who have ticked-off Kathleen Rutledge, her Royal Editorial Highness. The unpardonable sin is to ever, ever, ever disagree with the ultimate controller of copy. The only thing close to Elephant about Kathy is her memory. Like the proverbial pachyderm's recall, Theodore Kooser's wife's ability to "trash a campaign" by yellow journalism or totally ignoring "undesirable" news releases is, in my opinion, unparalleled in Nebraska.

Recently, I jokingly referred to the manager of a congressional campaign as being "calorically challenged." Little did I know that "Mongo-mama" was a friend of her highness. Mean Kathleen will never forgive me, but in the words of Rhet Butler, "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn."

By the way, Kathy saw to it her friend's candidate was endorsed by the Journal Star, but that fact notwithstanding, the particular candidate lost his race. I might add that was a shame, since he was and is a great guy, a capable candidate and would have made a far better congressman than either of those we will have to pick from in November. Of course, the most qualified, most personable, most gracious and most astute candidates didn't prevail in the primary race on either the Democrat or the Republican sides of the political fence. It would have been exciting for me to have had the opportunity to debate the damsel who would have been representing the donkey party and the only woman in the race, but the voters will be obliged to pick from the Kid, the Kook and the Klutz. Bet now that "Kathy's Kandidate will be the Klutz."

Hats off to the League of Women Voters whose well appreciated efforts to give ALL CANDIDATES forums to speak was well appreciated by those running and the voter's as well. That organization also took advantage of the Internet and published a nationally well-read web page where candidates biographies and their stands on a variety of issues could be found.

What the "League" did for the political process was sublime, what the Journal Star did and does to the process is disgraceful! The people of Lincoln can turn to the Omaha World Herald, the Daily Nebraskan (University of Nebraska School of Journalism's publication) and the Internet to get the real news and true picture of candidates and their positions in future elections. Until Queen Kathleen takes a hike into retirement, they sure as hell won't get unbiased, fair, and factual news about candidates and their positions in the Lincoln Journal Star.

VansOpinion
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