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Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Media Bias in Jonesboro, Arkansas?

Correction  1/16/09: The Director of Arkansas AFP has identified that the Jonesboro Sun ran an article on John Stossel speaking in Jonesboro. Also, KAIT-TV attended the Hot Air Balloon event but we could not determine if they ran a story on the event.
---------------
Bill Smith, Editor: Arkansas has been part of the National focus on health care, cap-in-trade and the failure of blue dog democrats to represent their constituents. Some Arkansans are asking, "When does the traditional media decide it is important to report on a local event?" The following identified city offers a glaring example for review. In the Jonesboro, Arkansas, home of Arkansas State University and the largest city in the North Eastern section of Arkansas, some of the citizens believe the media is clueless and / or biased.

Debbie Pelley, a retired teacher and conservative Tea Party supporter, shared the following examples of her frustration with the media in Jonesboro, In summary, the latest proverbial straw, was that that neither the Jonesboro Sun nor KAIT-TV reported on the announcement by Jim Holt for US Senate. Pelley said, "There were 89 people present. Jonesboro was one of five major cities in Arkansas visited by Holt to officially announce his candidacy for the U.S. Senate." Six years ago, Holt was the Republican candidate opposing Sen. Blanche Lincoln. Although Holt was defeated, since then Sen. Lincoln's favorable numbers have plummeted.  Her support of the Democrat's radical socialist agenda and continuing spending and placing unfunded mandates on Arkansas have resulted in low polling numbers and national Democrats calling for her to retire.

Pelley related, "Both the Jonesboro Sun and KAIT-TV were called and emailed a press release of the event. Neither attended the event. Did they feel the event was unimportant or were they totally biased? By comparison, in Little Rock at least four reporters attended Holt's event." The Democrat-Gazette reported, "Jim Holt is the highest profile Republican candidate to join the race so far." Prior to Holt's announcement, Lincoln trailed all of the "unknown" announced Republican candidates. So, it does appear that an unbiased media would have covered former Arkansas State Senator Jim Holt's announcement and asked him some meaningful questions.

On Oct. 29th, noted reporter and analyst John Stossel visited the Hilton's Statehouse Convention Center in Jonesboro and spoke to more than 550 people as part of the American for Prosperity (AFP) “Hands Off My Health Care" speaking tour. Pelley said, "Both the Jonesboro Sun and KAIT-TV ignored reporting on this event. These media sources also did not report on a previous AFP events at the city's courthouse or on the Virginia based AFP visiting Jonesboro via a Hot Air Balloon." The visit was part of AFP's National Hot Air Balloon tour addressing the pending legislation on Cap and Trade and Senator Blanche Lincoln's position on this legislation.

Pelley then related, "Media bias was very evident when both the Jonesboro Sun and KAIT-TV reported on 15 people visiting Senator Lincoln's office to encourage her to vote for the health bill earlier this year. In fact, the paper put it on the front page."

Media bias has been claimed in other parts of the state. However, I often wonder if this situation which appears biased isn't media laziness and possibly marketing ignorance. When the media ignores more than 500 people gathering to listen to a former ABC co-anchor of "20/20" and now Fox News contributor in their community, they are ignoring a "golden opportunity" to report on an event in their community of national significance.

Then to report on 15 people visiting Sen. Lincoln's office while ignoring the gathering of thousands who are have the opposed position in various locations in Arkansas, calls into question their ability to be trusted or to report the "complete" news. Finally, failing to report the news about on a candidate flying in to the community to make his announcement for the U.S. Senate running against the incumbent  whose numbers are so unfavorable that members of her own party are circling like buzzards, is a wasted news opportunity. In conclusion, you decide: Is there media bias in Jonesboro, Arkansas?
Tags: Arkansas, Bill Smith, Debbie Pelley, Jim Holt, John Stossel, Jonesboro, Jonesboro Sun, KAIT, media bias To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 5:28 PM - Post Link

3 Comments:

Anonymous Debbie Pelley said...

Thanks so much. It is blatant, isn't it?

1/15/2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Correction is a nice touch. But I still think they are biased, regardless.

1/17/2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You may be interested to know that The Sun ran preview articles on many of the events mentioned here (the ballon, Jim Holt's announcement, etc.). At least that gets the word out to people who want to attend.
Furthermore, I don't think they are covering "announcement" events of any of the candidates, so as long as they're consistent I wouldn't call that biased. It's obvious the editor is biased, but they do run a number of positive stories. Maybe if conservatives counted their blessings and portrayed more of a positive attitude themselves the media would take them more seriously. I'm about as conservative as they come, but I too get irritated at loud-mouths who do nothing by nag and complain. Getting the facts straight about whether they reported something would be a good start.

1/20/2010  

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