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Thursday, March 31, 2011

To Bliss Communications: We Deserve the Truth

Dear Rock County and Bliss Communications:

I love Rock County.

Rock County residents deserve unbiased factual coverage of political events from our local news media--not just yellow journalism.

We deserve to hear news and informational commentary and not just the personal views of the owners of our local radio and newspaper.

We deserve professionalism on the radio and in print. Rock County residents are intelligent people who deserve the respect of the media.

This week a WCLO entertainer/talk show host engaged in an on-air verbal tirade directed toward the protesters at the Forward Janesville event on the evening of March 29. To subject a large number and broad spectrum of Rock County residents to a stream of verbal abuse from a bully with a micro-phone was beneath contempt.

The protesters are the customers of Bliss Communication and the clients who keep their advertisers in business. To insult the intelligence of the protesters was bizarre: I was standing beside a school teacher, 2 Ph.d's, a former senator, a business owner, some military veterans, and some teamsters!

We deserve to know real estimates of the numbers of people who attend political events. We should not have to be doing mental math when we read or hear reports: dividing in half if the event is a conservative or Republican event because the media exaggerated the attendance and multiplying by two if the event is a liberal or Democratic event because the local media under-represented the numbers attending the event.

We deserve objectivity and unbiased factual information. Empathy and sympathy are not necessary, but the ability to portray the atmosphere of a rally or a protest objectively and factually is. The ability to report on issues one disagrees with objectively is necessary.

Joseph Pulitzer had a sign hanging in the newsroom of the New York World which read, “The World has no friends.”

To be honest, one must tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth—without distortion and without using those little tell-tale words that convey an oh-so-different view from what really happened. I read somewhere that a senator at the Capitol was “backed into a corner by protesters who heckled him loudly while he tried to give an interview.” This sounded dangerous. I looked at the video. Here is my report: “Senator X was standing out on a sunny day at the Capitol with protesters standing around him at a respectful distance. They occasionally shouted so loudly it was disturbing but, he gave his interview.”

I love Rock County and we deserve the truth. All of it. No additives. No distortions. No sneaky little words & phrases to denote a different story. No propaganda. With all of the implications. No verbal abuse.

Your friend,


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