Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Flat out lies

There's a fundamental problem with Bill Shipp's column today, but you wouldn't know it if you read it in the Athens Banner-Herald. And that's not because the ABH did something wrong but rather, did something right.

Granted, Shipp's column is full of the usual generalizations and lazy reporting that has come to signify his work, yet that isn't the problem. The problem is that he's literally making stuff up, and only the ABH had the guts to properly edit it.

Take a look at this version in the Marietta Daily-Journal, which includes this rightfully omitted portion from the ABH ...

The following anecdote may best place in a nutshell Georgia Democrats' ineptitude. When the party opened an Athens office, no one bothered to notify the media to celebrate and draw attention to its presence. As a result, there was no news coverage to spread word to the locals that the Democrats were in town. After the gala opening without reporters, a Democratic functionary reportedly found the media invitations still waiting to be mailed.

Now, the problems with this are legion ...

- The Democratic Party of Georgia and the Clarke County Democratic Party are two separate entities, and the DPG holds no sway over determing when local parties open their headquarters, where they locate and how they promote said opening.

- We're a freaking Democratic bastion in this state - ranging from Yellow Dogs to hippies - so it isn't as if we need a gala event to announce we're here ... hell, we're always here.

- Though Shipp insists that a 'Democratic functionary reportedly' uncovered unmailed media invitations, that bang-up journalism fails because the actual people with the party say there weren't any invitations to mail. The opening was communicated via email to local media for dissemination to the public.

- Lo and behold there was notification in said local media here. Also the local party invited the public to attend a meeting discussing the planning of the opening and, shockingly enough, the media was there as Blake quoted DPG chairwoman Jane Kidd from the event.

So, let's see here ... Shipp's relying on someone who knew someone who may have seen something for his sources when a simple call to either the local party or the DPG would have quickly cleared any 'confusion.' And, supposedly the best political commentator in the state doesn't understand the basic structure of how local parties function and comes across more that he's miffed he wasn't invited.

Still, beyond all of that, he's just flat-out wrong. The media was invited and there was notification in the local press and there was coverage of it.

This type of laziness and poor work ethic gets normal people fired.


Blogger Oconee Democrat said...

what work ethic? He's been mailing it in since I worked at the Marietta Daily Journal/North Fulton Neighbor in 1986. That might be the only newspaper that still gives him unfettered column inches, but good job calling him out on any number of levels. I do not watch the show as much as I use to, but I do not think he has been on the Georgia Gang in more than a year. I think he is taking care of an ailing wife, but that is no excuse for such sloppy reporting. My guess is that someone across the street from the Clarke County Democratic HQ emailed him about them not getting invited.

9:19 AM  

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