Taylor's latest photo op turns ugly . . . well, into real journalism - oops

Shocking news out of Henderson County. Charles Taylor showed up for his normal bi-annual pre-election "I'm wonderful" photo op tour and an out-of-control real journalist showed up to cover it.

In an alarming set-back to the normally all-powerful, media-dominating Taylor campaign apparatus, a Jonathan Rich of the Hendersonville Times-News actually included another point of view in his article about Taylor getting credit for something he had nothing to do with.

It started out well for Taylor in an article titled "Treasury secretary Snow visits BRCC" [okay -- I'm not sure how to do the link for it: http://www.hendersonvillenews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2006604010338

Snow was "impressed" with a new high-capacity fiber optic broadband cable, like either he or Taylor had the slightest idea what any of that meant.

They had a lovely photo of two suited pasty-faced old pot-bellied gray hairs (looks just like the good ol' days of the Pravda). And so on. Blah blah blah.

But just when the reporter should have been wrapping things up with some insipid and inaccurate reference to some "good works" by Taylor that never happened or, more likely, some wonderful thing he's taking credit for that had nothing to do with him -- the reporter then lapsed into actual journalism:

" "Representatives of the Democratic Party asked to attend the meeting, said Eva Ritchey, chairwoman of the Henderson County Democratic Party, in an e-mail to the Times-News.

" "Upon contacting Blue Ridge Community College, we were informed that the event was private and by invitation only," she said.

"Ritchey continued, "I am disappointed that our national treasurer has come to our community and does not want to meet with the public. I think it is ironic that the chief financial spokesman of the Bush administration ... who spent nearly 300 billion taxpayer dollars to bring democracy to the people of Iraq closes the door to the public at Blue Ridge Community College." "

Kudos to Rich for journalistic integrity and Richey for intiative and courage. I know plenty of folks out in WNC that fear for their jobs and more for standing up to Taylor in any way, shape or form. I hope this indicates a crack in his reelectability fortress.

After all, if you count last month's Macon County article where it was noted that he'd said the forest service sale was dead when that was clearly not the case, this is an unprecedented streak of two in a row. Two times in less than two weeks where Charles Taylor's spin on reality didn't quite make it intact from his campaign's press release to a newspaper's front page.

Gosh, maybe one day we'll have a democracy right here in an original colony of these United States. I know. I know. I'm fantasizing but somebody's gotta dream, right?

Comments

Nice work!

I front-paged this (bet you didn't know you could use "front-page" as a transitive verb!) because I do think it's noteworthy when politicos of whatever stripe get pushback (and "push back" as a noun) from the media. I'll just ad that the reporter's email address is jonathan.rich@henderson-villenews.com, in case anyone wants to provide some positive reinforcement.

Thanks, Drama Queen!

Thanks to you, too --

I had included e-mail but my first version got deleted when I tried to look for some html advice and in version two I forgot!

And thanks for all the kind comments. This blogging thing is pretty much fun. Lets me vent years of frustration to an appreciative audience.

Woo Hoooo

Great work Drama Queen. I called the reporter from the Macon County News before they changed the article. Poor thing. She was very nice and said she thought Taylor's press release was very misleading. I don't think she knew her audience stretched out to Charlotte! They had the new article up within a couple of hours setting the record straight. While I think the article was planned before I called, I think she had an "oh no" moment when she realized their article would be getting some extended attention.



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

that makes sense

to me that the reporter didn't realize what she was getting into. In my limited experience, there's no way any newspaper (except maybe Hendersonville Times-News on a very rare occasion) will print anything even mildly questioning Taylor. They'll run stuff on his opponent in smaller print in more obscure locations. But, in the past, they have never run anything but full on versions of his press release lies, even with the pressure on from many directions to do otherwise. It's been all anyone could do to have them leave out maybe one angle of their spin. There's no way any reporter would actually mention that the press release was blatantly inaccurate in a variety of ways, or question them as to why they can't seem to find anything truthful to brag about.

Thank about it -- all the power this man has and he can't find one thing to brag about that he really did for anyone's benefit. It's pathetic.

Yessssssss

Pravda. Very excellent.

Thanks Drama Queen!

Welcome to the front page. Keep writing this well and you'll soon have an extensive fan club.

Charles Taylor's credibility is shot. He's going to have to get out in front of the voters in a genuine way in order to have a ghost of a chance against the above-board Heath Shuler.

Word on the street is that Taylor will be attacking Shuler soon on the basis of experience. Taylor will argue that if NC-11 sends someone inexperienced, then we won't be getting any more money for the district. It's an bribery gambit that doesn't hold water. While Taylor has dribbled some money into infrastructure, it's not nearly enough to build the high-tech economy he claims to be pushing. Without major investment in education, the type of commitment that no Republican administration has ever shown, no amount of economic incentives will bring employers to the region. Without a large pool of well-trained labor, WNC will not be able to attract the big biotech and computer jobs in any significant numbers.

In central Florida, they're actually building new universities, building an infrastructure that's much more attractive to new business. Taylor's been giving the people of WNC handouts without ever choosing to really do what it takes to make the district a marquis place to do business.

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us

thanks

for your kind words. Mine are fueled by years of venom. I'm aware that right before November 04, an official at Western (possibly the president? if I recall correctly) at e-mailed the entire staff that a vote against Taylor was a vote against their own jobs.

I know someone who was trying to get a nanotech regional center going out of Tryon but I'm not sure how far that got. I know he got in to speak with Senator Edwards' staff but I never heard if he got anywhere with Taylor on it. That could have been something (maybe it still will be. I have't spoken to him in a couple of years so I don't know)

As to the campaign, I'm sure CT's folks are going to pull out all the stops against Shuler. I just hope Shuler's folks can stick him where he's most vulnerable. Just a list juxtaposing all his promises against the realities of his actions is amazing considering how many people truly believe he's been doing good things.

I'm excited that now two reporters have called him on his blatant lies. Of course, most voters think all candidate lie . . . And I truly that it's up to us bloggers to pressure (and praise) the newspapers into doing their jobs of covering the truth (or at least some small fraction of it), get some excitement generated for his opponent . . .and with Bush's tumbling numbers, who knows . . . we could have ourselves a winner.

Bev Purdue gives Taylor some love at Western

I just heard from someone who heard from someone else (i.e. it must be true) that Bev Purdue spoke at Western Carolina this afternoon and credited Charles Taylor with being instrumental in getting technology improvments (maybe broadband access?) out there. Does you know if this is true?

Last I saw of the map, the much-bragged-about line ended at Cullowhee, leaving out Cherokee, Swain, Macon, Clay, Graham, and probably some county i've overlooked. And it had been titled something to do with the "west."

And since when is Bev Purdue giving Charles Taylor some love? I hope she wrote Heath Shuler a nice check on her way back east.

Please tell me this isn't true.

If so, she just earned my whole-hearted opposition on her run for Governor.
Pass it on.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Dear Purdue Campaign.

You might want to get this flattened . . . like yesterday. Some of us have been asked to write some reeeeeeaaaally big checks for the would-be lady governor. And this could lop off a couple of zeros.

can't flatten a rumor that's true

Just got it from a second source. And there's been a good deal of talk about it among people who attended. And among the folks who listened to her speak tonight at the 11th district's Spring Gala.

Don't write checks for '08 races ! ! !

Write checks for the folks that need it for '06! If we're going to take back congress then we need to put our money on the Democratic challengers NOW!

Larry Kissell and Heath Schuler are in the best positions to take 'em back. Give! Give! Give!

I'm pretty sure the people writing 08 checks

on this group are among those that Shuler et al call with a big wet thank thank thank you.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me