Bad Journalism + Biased Editor = The Gray News

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Ray Clark is an unethical bully

August 2005, Ray Clark wrote: The Truth About the GPLA

"(The Town's litigation, on the other hand, involves just Pennell and one acre, which doubtless confused The Monument.)"
BUST: Newspapers do not use their newspaper to take potshots at readers or at other newspapers.
BUST: This article is published as an article, and not an editorial. Making personal statements of opinion in news articles reduces Mr. Clark's credibility to zero.

"The GPLA has no "plans" to present a bond-of $660,000 or any other number. ... The bald statement that "GPLA plans to present bond" is indeed fiction."
BUST: IRS form 1023 states that the GPLA had slated a bond, included a cost, and provided a date. This source was referenced in The Monument's article and a photo of it put online. Here, Mr. Clark puts himself in a Catch-22. Either Mr. Clark lied to The Monument about never intending to put out for a bond, or he lied to the IRS about the opposite.

"And The Monument, in response to a letter, darkly implies that there is some conflict of interest in serving on both the Library Board of Trustees and the GPLA. Neither The Monument nor anyone else has even suggested what this conflict might be. The GPLA's attorneys see no conflict of interest. While Town Council member Andy Upham has brought up the issue, no formal action has been taken."
BUST: using the word 'darkly' is an adjective that has no place in a news report, which by its nature should strive to be as neutral as possible. The statement should say "The Monument stated that..."
BUST: Mr. Clark is a member of the organization he is writing about. He should not participate in the news and if participation is unavoidable, he should have declared that he was a member of the organization. That he did not, leaves the reader to possibly suppose that he was using his bully pulpit to lobby for his own organization.

In 2000, Ray Clark replied in the same issue to a letter writer thus: "The Editor replies--no, he doesn't. He has no words. Also, no more patience for Mr. Cutter's vituperation. Good night, Cal.)"
BUST: Editors should allow comment without the writer fearing the Editor will insert a snide remark. To do so is inappropriately using the newspaper as a bully pulpit.

Here are industry statements that speak to this kind of bias reporting that Mr. Clark does: “No employee of NPR (or any other journalistic organization of good repute) should abuse their position to advocate or pound the bully pulpit. If they want to do so, they should leave journalism and go join a lobby group.” NPR Ombudsman

“There should be clear boundaries between public relations and lobbying on the one hand and opinion journalism on the other.” The Hawaii Reporter

12 Comments:

  • Many people won't write to the GN because they are afraid Ray will snipe at them and they will be made a fool of, the way he villified Fran Monroe. Everybody thought it was "funny" at the time and enjoyed it, but on the other hand, they don't want to be the subject of his sniping.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:49 PM  

  • I agree that that is an inhibitor. Newspapers are supposed to encourage community dialog through the tenet "give voice to the voiceless." The Gray News suppresses it in those who may hold a contrary view to their perspective, thus rendereing a segment of the community truly voiceless.

    By Anonymous biasbuster, at 1:59 PM  

  • Those of us with long memories know.

    Fran is an easy target. Clark took advantage of that. Everything Fran Monroe did was for the citizens, not only for those with connections.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:00 PM  

  • I agree. But easy target or no, it's never a good to abuse the people who write in or to make fun of them, or call them names. These are things a bully on the playground eventually grows out of. Clark never did.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:10 PM  

  • Like when the Editor of the Monument will not publish your letter unless you follow her rules
    That is incorrect. Elizabeth publishes all letters, as long as they are factually correct, on time, and within the word count. This set of policies is always on page two for the public to see and is always adhered to. You can see that Ray Clark has policies, but sets them aside at will.

    Like when EP rails on the writer if she doesn't agree with the content of the letter to the editor
    Incorrect also. Ray Clark of the Gray News, as you can see in print, does this. Biasbuser just gave you several examples. Your claim, sir or madam, is made-up. Meanwhile, The Gray News chastises writers, fails to put in their letters, or edits them beyond recognition.

    By Anonymous biasbuster, at 7:46 PM  

  • Ray Clark IS a Bully Reporter! His opinions are generated by falsehoods totally; and He seems to thrive on misleading his readers! He is unethical; and extremely unprofessional!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:35 AM  

  • "Elizabeth publishes all letters, as long as they are factually correct, on time, and within the word count."
    Do you eat with the same mouth that garbage just spewed from?

    I ask politely that you please refrain from such language. We can have a conversation that does not include such negative language, please.
    EP told me that she will write back if there is a factually incorrect item or other issues such as libel in letters. That is to protect the potentially libeled, the newspaper, and the writer.

    By Anonymous biasbuster, at 8:49 AM  

  • When will this Battle between two newspapers end??? If Ray Clark would exercise as much energy revamping the GN as he does spewing his 'cutting remarks' about Elizabeth Prata, he might have a fighting chance at salvaging his paper! Needless to say, by his own stupidity, GN is sinking lower and lower into the sewer! In my opinion, it is high time Ray Clark took up another hobby...preferrably in another Town!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:32 PM  

  • I beg to differ- it is the GRAY NEWS who mentions the Monument almost every week, or crabs against Elizabeth Prata. it is the GRAY NEWS who started this battle and is keeping it going. If THE GRAY NEWS would stop, there wold be no 'war'

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:47 PM  

  • The Gray News suppresses letters, and also attaches snide comments after the letters that they do print. This is journalistic bullying and is not appreciated by anyone under the hammer of Ray Clark's pen.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:59 PM  

  • Many years ago I vowed to myself to never have any dialog with the Gray news. Ray Clark showed me that he is not honorable and deserves no respect. Clark has done nothing in many years to change my opinion of him. I have never violated that vow and I am not about to violate it.

    The Monument has said some things I do not agree with, but that is normal. Clarks Gray news is full of anger and just below the surface he is violent and ready to erupt. I have seen this.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:25 PM  

  • Yes, I have seen this, too. He gets very angry and red in the face at the slightest provocation (usually anything he does not agree with). This is not good for a news person who is in a business that is by nature onfronatational. His temper is evident in his writing. So is his bullying.

    By Blogger BiasBuster, at 7:28 PM  

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