LOCAL TEA PARTY (HARDLY) MAKES THE FRONT PAGE

Pastor Doug Jones makes a few remarks before opening the TEA Party with Prayer - Picture by Barbara Anable

Yesterday’s TEA Party Rally at the Hot Springs Airport made the front page.  Finally, the local TEA Party got some press.  It was at the top of today’s paper.  A closer glance made this local semi-retired semi-journalist wince.

The article makes the local periodical’s views as visible as the “Don’t tread on Me” flag that was flying at Memorial Field.

Not a word is written about who spoke at the rally.  There is a nice picture, but not one quote from a local speaker or attendee.  The Associated Press story that accompanies the nice picture quotes a few national leaders.  Glenn Gallas, a Hot Springs area resident running for the U.S. House of Representatives, and a speaker at the event, isn”t even mentioned.

Most of those who went to the airport yesterday would agree with the “gangster government” quote by Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota.  This quote was mentioned twice in the article.  This quote, however, is unbalanced in its attempt to brand TEA Party participants as those who are unable to put more than a few words together.  I have heard the CHAIRMAN of the United States House of Representatives Judiciary Committee try to explain where it says in the Constitution that the citizens of the U.S. can be forced to buy a government health care plan.  Many TEA Party speakers that I’ve heard seem to understand the Constitution better than Mr. Conyers, the Constitutional lawyer.

Whether one agrees with the efforts of the tea party or not, it is a newsworthy event because of the number of folks who are very upset with the direction they see our government heading.  I, for one, am appreciative of those like Mr. Gallas who want to get us back on Constitutional track. They are spending their time are resources to try to make a difference.

Like Mr. Gallas and many others, I believe the next election will tell us where we are one way or another.  Are there enough Republicans and Democrats willing to stand up for what’s written in the Constitution, or are we more concerned about becoming more like other nations?

I am disappointed that the local paper sent only a photographer.

It did send a reporter to the Good Government Group’s Candidate Forum, which was held at the Library at the same time as the TEA Party Rally.

I applaud the GGGG for attempting to help us get acquainted with  those who will be running for office.  The article focused on Terry Smith’s comment that Jo West-Taylor violated Arkansas law.  Mr. Smith is running for Garland County Treasurer and I think he should wait until Ms. West-Taylor is in the room to make such allegations.  The best  Treasurer candidate is running as a Republican, but that’s a story for another day.  The article about the local TEA Party effort should have had some of the local flavor that the GGGG political forum piece displayed.

The local paper knows that it must “cover” these events to keep selling its wares.

On the TEA Party article – It’s attempt to make both sides happy, one side with a large picture, and the other side with an article that’s got no teeth is, at the least, self-serving.  I think the article is an obvious indication of where the paper stands politically.

On the GGGG political forum article – It did what papers do to try to sell papers. It focused on  a controversy.  Why does the paper print editorials from those who oppose its own obvious views?  That’s an easy one.

The GGGG must be taken seriously.  The organization does work that the city (and the county) should be doing.  If it wasn’t for the GGGG, there would be no citizen committee looking into the best way to handle the jail situation, probably the biggest problem the community faces at present.  Because the GGGG is beginning to shake off some of the dirt slung at it from the local elite, dirt that has been printed in the media source that most Hot Water City residents read, the organization is now getting some notice in the same source.

Chris Reimers

(Wouldn’t you like to know, just once, who wrote any editorial piece in the local paper?)

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2 Responses to LOCAL TEA PARTY (HARDLY) MAKES THE FRONT PAGE

  1. Brian White says:

    I was unable to attend the Tea Party Rally due to my involvement with the GGGG event. I would like to make a comment about that forum, though. We had a great turnout by the candidates, but not so great from the public.

    I believe that this was because the local newspaper completely snubbed the event. I made personal contact with a local reporter. A press release written very professionally by one of our members was sent, and receipt of that release confirmed. Yet not one word appeared in print. It was a grave injustice not only to the public, but to the candidates who are trying to get their individual message to the public.

    I am saddened and disappointed that our local newspaper disrespects the voters of Hot Springs and Garland County to this degree. Perhaps this is just another reason that they lack journalistic credibility.

    • Chris says:

      Although this is only a blog, I would be happy to print any press release that you make in the future. I would like folks to know that the C4AA and GGGG events were publicized on the Wings of the Wind blog. The local periodical has a few more readers than this blog and, because it is the only media source of its kind in Hot Springs, it should have printed your release.

      It does not surprise me that you received no press.

      For some reason a group called “Fifty for the Future” recently received a large, front-page notice about a candidate forum it is holding at least a month away. I can understand your disappointment. Why is it that one group is favored over another? There’s only one reason of which I can think.

      Listening to people speak, the local paper is not very popular. It gets by with snubs because of its monopoly. One of these days someone is going to give them some competition. I think it will come from an online source. To a degree they are getting that competition now. Anyone can read the AP story printed with the Hot Springs TEA party picture in a number of online sources. If the monopoly continues to print AP stories with local pictures, they will only appeal to those who like the tangibility of the paper and the political slant that we are used to.

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