Bad Journalism + Biased Editor = The Gray News

Monday, May 15, 2006

Another biasbust of Ray Clark

April 14 issue of The Gray News, headline, FinCom meeting illegal? Maybe not... then again...Ray Clark wrote:

Example #1: Questions have been raised about the legality of a meeting of the Gray Finance Committee held on April 6. [excerpted...] It was hastily rescheduled for April 6. According to Council Chair Gary Foster, the Portland Press Herald was notified, thus fulfilling the letter of the Open Meeting laws of Maine.

Biasbust #1a: In the headline and in the first paragraph Mr. Clark alludes to a potential illegality. But then he dispels it by stating the meeting met the letter of the law. Do not allege illegality if there is no basis behind the allegation.

Biasbust #1b: "Hastily" does not belong in a news article. Unless Mr. Clark was in Town Office and saw the clerks rushing around to reschedule it, using hastily is conjecture. Conjecture does not belong in a news article.

Example #2: But further questions were raised when it was learned that the Finance Committee now consists of three members of the Gray Town Council: Foster, Andrew Upham and Skip Crane.

Biasbust #2: “questions were raised” is bad writing. It’s passive tense, so it is really bad news writing. Second, who raised those questions? What questions were asked? Without attributing the ‘questions’ that were supposedly raised to an actual person, and stating what the questions were, it's using anonymous sources. Or it could be an outright fabrication. Ditto for 'it was learned.'

Example #3: Last Fall, the Council introduced a Charter amendment that would change the makeup of the Finance Committee to one Council member and an unspecified number of citizens at large. The amendment was passed. Recruiting has apparently failed to attract citizen members

Biasbust #3: The use of the word ‘apparently’ is inappropriate. Either the council attracted new members, or it didn’t.

Biasbust #3b: Mr. Clark’s supposition that no citizens attend is false. Janet Neal and Lynn Olson, are both citizen-at-large ad hoc attendees who regularly participate.

Biasbust #3c: Mr. Clark’s new interest in the Right To Know law is too little too late.
--Mr. Clark participated in an illegal meeting last June. He organized the meeting with three days’ notice and did not notify the public, and there were more than three elected officials present.
--Mr. Clark participated in an illegal executive session, for which then-Chair Pam Wilkinson later publicly apologized for the illegality.
--Mr. Clark participated in an illegal meeting of the Trustees recently which was dispersed by Councilor Duda due to lack of notification.
The first can be confirmed by Chair Gary Foster. The second two are on the record and can be proven.

40 Comments:

  • I remember when Pam apologized. I was surprised she did it. But glad.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:56 AM  

  • Elizabeth is this your weak attempt to discredit the Gray News again?
    You are a sick woman you know

    The postings herein are the mere scrapings of tiny morsels that you lick up and thrive on in hopes of stirring up trouble here in Gray

    All this posted on Mother's Day
    and Easter was the another fine day of writing for your newspaper's blogspot too...

    Sad sad despicable excuse for an Editor of the Monument (Current Publishers take notice)

    By Anonymous Observer From Away, at 6:50 AM  

  • Again, Biasbuster is not EP but I admire EP and am trying to help her out.

    There are no name callings and no allegations without source documents. THAT is worth noticing, and respecting.

    Please, no more allegations of EP being 'sick,' because that is not the kind of discussion that we want here. Contribute something positive, thought provoking, or an opinion that isn't lashing out. Thank you.

    By Anonymous BiasBuster, at 6:56 AM  

  • "Contribute something positive, thought provoking, or an opinion that isn't lashing out"

    This blogspot created by YOU & YOUR postings are contradicting YOUR above mentioned statement

    By Anonymous Observer From Away, at 7:06 AM  

  • This is observation without condemnation or snide remarks of personalities.

    Do you have a comment on any of the three posts?

    By Anonymous BiasBuster, at 7:18 AM  

  • It's about time the Public hears "The Other Side of the Story"! Ray Clark can 'Dish it Out', but hates to admit the Error of His Ways!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:22 AM  

  • The Public hears it all
    Trouble is you can not handle the TRUTH

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:57 AM  

  • Excuse Me? VERY LITTLE TRUTH is seen within the GN Pages! Don't insult the Public's Intelligence.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:32 AM  

  • The Gray News is good for some things. But not reporting. That is what this site is about, to show you why and how. The menus and the homey blurbs, all fine. But the news reporters are unethical and their reporting is deeply flawed. And newspapers usually accept that they and their methods can be improved and their newsgathering should be transparent. It's just a little rag newspaper after all, not a sacred cow. It's not above scrutiny, and it shouldn't be.

    By Anonymous BiasBuster, at 9:46 AM  

  • You will never be satisfied with that attitude-- Why bother!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:12 PM  

  • Some people just like to bitch about everything... sour pusses!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:13 PM  

  • I do not understand these last two comments. What attitude and crabbing about what?

    Amazing that a mention that the Gray News is not above scrutiny gets such a reaction.

    By Anonymous BiasBuster, at 6:25 PM  

  • It's time for Ray Clark to take a long; deep, internal view of the Gray News, and Himself! Perhaps it is Time for some revitalization on both counts! The paper {GN}is 'sinking' and Ray Clark's credibility has been 'defunct' for quite some time now. The lack of leadership is apparent; and instead of complaining about the competition, GN needs to examine itself!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:46 AM  

  • You are so far off in left field about Ray Clark & the Gray News
    Looks like E.P. has her hands over your eyes while you try to "swing-batter-swing" taking pot shots at Ray Clark
    Nice try ... but no cigar!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:12 AM  

  • Looks like Ray Clark has his hands over YOUR eyes while you try to "swing-batter-swing" taking pot shots at Elizabeth! You'll 'See the Light' Some Day??? Sooner than Later..for your sake!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:52 AM  

  • No thanks...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:53 PM  

  • You 'Library People'; and 'Gray News People', can't change what you refuse to acknowledge. You are wasting so much energy 'trying to be Right' instead of Doing the Right Thing!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:14 AM  

  • Some sharpie observes: "But the news reporters are unethical and their reporting is deeply flawed."

    THAT IS THE MONUMENT IN A NUTSHELL.
    No wait, The Monument is WORSE because the Monument has pretensions, actually brags about itself, yet it is a bastion of bias, manipulation and hate. Who'd be insane enough not to see what's really happening?

    "Not all conversatives are stupid, but stupid people are all conservative."

    By Anonymous Blue Moon, at 9:45 AM  

  • where and how is the Monument's reporting deeply flawed? Educate me.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:45 AM  

  • Yes...Where and How is the Monument's reporting deeply flawed?? Please be specific; and don't forget your Facts to back up your assumptions!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:32 PM  

  • blue moon, I think that calling people stupid is not classy.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:25 PM  

  • Stupid is as Stupid does :-)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:25 PM  

  • The Gray News is a bad publication in that it presents lies, manipulations, and skewed truth. Gary showed that in his examples. And remember it is not only Gary who refuses to talk with the Gray News. All four councilors do not. They have all had bad experiences with Ray and Nathan.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:55 AM  

  • Sort of like the majority of this town and the {bad experiences} they have encountered at the hands of Liz Prata!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:46 PM  

  • "Sort of like the majority of this town and the {bad experiences} they have encountered at the hands of Liz Prata!"

    Can you offer an instance? Yes, I agree that some newsmakers who have done wrong, or acted badly, have been in the newspaper. But if you don't want to be in the news, don't do anything wrong, as the adage goes. Those people might feel wronged, but the 'wrong' to them is not what they did but the fact that it was reported in the paper. So, please tell us, exactly what 'bad experiences?' and who?

    By Anonymous biasbuster, at 6:10 PM  

  • So, let me see if I comprehend your last statement correctly-
    Help me here—
    You said – Yes, I agree that some newsmakers that have done wrong, or acted badly, have been in the newspaper {I am assuming you are referring to the Monument here}

    Why didn’t Liz Prata report the news of Andrew Upham threatening John Welch after Town Council meeting? Liz & Gary witness Andrew Upham acting “badly” toward a fellow councilor {She was protecting the bad ass ANGRY attitude of Andrew Upham}

    Andrew Upham threatened John Welch and went as far as yelling at him and telling John Welch to stay home for the next meeting! He has no right or power to tell a fellow councilor not to show up-let alone threaten him in any fashion!

    This was right in the middle of the RECALL effort! She biased her paper and her reporting in a fashion not befitting a true neutral journalist
    {This we find unethical and despicable }

    By Anonymous Anonymous Reporter 2, at 7:14 AM  

  • Why didn’t Liz Prata report the news of Andrew Upham threatening John Welch after Town Council meeting? Liz & Gary witness Andrew Upham

    WHY DIDN'T THE GRAY NEWS?? Because they do not go to meetings. They are lazy.

    Why didn't the Gray news report the bullying at the transfer station, the hate mail received by the older couple, and the wrongdoing of Lynn Olson with her finger? Because they are biased. The Monument reports what happens. Gray News doesn't

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:47 AM  

  • O.M.G. you have lost yourself within that comment!

    How could the Gray News report the Little Man Angry Sydrome of Andrew Upyours lashed upon John Welch (after) the town council meeting if the Gray News didn't witness the parking lot bashing? ! ??

    The Gray News is awesome but they are not miracle workers...geeezzz!

    By Anonymous Anonymous Reporter 2, at 4:03 PM  

  • You seem to be grasping at straws-- again....

    "Why didn't the Gray news report the bullying at the transfer station, the hate mail received by the older couple, and the wrongdoing of Lynn Olson with her finger?"

    The Gray News is not dredging Lake Erie to find mud to sling at the citizens--that is why!

    That, biasbustah, is Liz’s trademark yellow journalism

    By Anonymous Anonymous Reporter 2, at 4:08 PM  

  • If what you say is is true: "The Gray News is not dredging Lake Erie to find mud to sling at the citizens"
    then that means they make decisions about not reporting actual happenings from newsmakers. That is biased. A good newspaper must report what happens and let people decide.

    By Anonymous biasbuster, at 4:27 PM  

  • "A good newspaper must report what happens and let people decide"

    Liz chose NOT to report the parking lot hostility flung upon John Welch by Any Upham...

    Where did you miss this one biasbuster?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:58 AM  

  • "Why didn't the Gray news report the bullying at the transfer station, the hate mail received by the older couple, and the wrongdoing of Lynn Olson with her finger?"

    Some of this the Gray News was not aware of--

    We witnessed and heard of some of the transfer station bully tactics by Andew Upham himself... but that seems sooooooo petty!
    Why dredge up the mud to sling...

    We will leave yellow journalism to Lizzy ... she is soooooooo good at it!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:01 AM  

  • Some of this the Gray News was not aware of--

    WHY? Why, if they are a newspaper, are they not aware? They were part of the recall and the recall people are their friends, that's why. Could it be they 'were not aware' because they chose to protect their friends and wanted the recall to pass? of COURSE! Since they were part of the recall, they had a stake in its outcome and failed to report the things that would damage the outcome they wanted. Which is EXACTLY why the Gray News is a bad newspaper, they are too tied to the news events and have lost credibility.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:39 AM  

  • Well, if what you say is true..maybe more mud slinging would have WON the Recall vote...

    you are sounding like a broken record

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:21 AM  

  • I believe that the mud slinging nearly won the recall, yes.

    By Anonymous biasbuster, at 8:59 AM  

  • Close doesn't Count, folks! Andy Upham remains ON the Council; and you guys need to put it behind you! Stop with the criticism; and Go with creating a Better Community in which to Live!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:43 PM  

  • They had 30 years to make a better community, and look- it's at its lowest point ever. What has the Gray News done for Gray lately? Nothing!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:44 AM  

  • Change is always a little unsettling, but viewed positively, Gray will become a Better Community in which to Live! There are several areas that need to be improved upon; and once things are 'back on course', "Community" will be restored!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:09 PM  

  • Most of the comments posted here do not even address the article they are attached to. Seems to me the main point is the allegation that Ray Clark and the Gray News (Nathan Tsukroff included) frequently mislead their readers. Is there evidence to support this? Yes, quite a lot actually.
    One of the ways the Gray News, and Nathan especially, try to get away with lying and defaming people is by printing some outrageous lie and then covering themselves by couching it in some "softening language" like 'perhaps' or 'likely' or 'impression'. The goal is to get the bad statement out there so people will see it and absorb it, but then they try to cover themselves just enough to not get sued (yet).
    Another similar tactic is to print a headline that gives the reader a very definite impression, then take back some of it in the actual story.
    A perfect example: "Biasbust #1a: In the headline and in the first paragraph Mr. Clark alludes to a potential illegality. But then he dispels it by stating the meeting met the letter of the law. Do not allege illegality if there is no basis behind the allegation."
    Keep up the great work BIASBUSTER, whoever you are.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:45 PM  

  • Thanks a whole lot, that is really nice.

    You said it well, about the 'softening' language. It's true, writing 'likely' or 'perhaps' or 'it seems' does keep them just on this side of libel. But in the end it does them an injustice because the readers see through it. It does an injustice to those readers who cannot see through it, as well. A newspaper is a serious thing. Editors should respect the process of civic dialog, not corrupt it by parsing.

    By Blogger BiasBuster, at 5:34 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home