Headline raises questions
Published 5:18 pm Wednesday, October 25, 2006
The lead news article in the Wednesday, Oct. 18, edition of the Brewton Standard “Pols defend pledge” immediately caught my attention this week [as all headlined stories are intended to] but, upon reading its content, I found myself questioning not only the accuracy of the information, but as well the published article meeting the fair and balanced standard we should expect from our local newspaper.
Let me say right off that I appreciate the noteworthy contributions that the new publisher, Kerry Whipple Bean, has made to The Brewton Standard since taking the helm at the Standard , so I thought it was appropriate for me to visit her desk and share my concerns regarding this article with her face to face. I shared my concern with her that the article's title might lead readers to believe (since it questioned Republican State Senate candidate John McMillan and House Representative candidate Alan Baker) that there was some illegal or immoral conspiracy being perpetrated by the Alabama Republican Party. I was relieved to hear that Ms Whipple Bean did not believe either to be the case, and as well that she welcomed my comments, even suggesting that I publish my opinion as a guest columnist in the next edition. It is for this purpose that I present the following statement.
After reading Ms Whipple Bean's news article more times than I care to admit, and personally questioning the information presented, I find that the leaders she refers to in her article questioning the pledge are actually Democratic Party candidates Pat Lindsey, Skippy White, and former State Senator Reo Kirkland who is now the Chairman of the Escambia County Democratic party. When Alan Baker was questioned by Ms Whipple Bean, he responded that he had heard some people comment on the issue, but nothing specific. I learned in further discussions with her regarding the source of this questioning that the direct quotes she attributed to the democratic candidates in her article were actually cut and pasted from notes she took while attending a recent Democratic Party caucus held in the courthouse in Brewton.
What better forum could Pat Lindsey, Skippy White, or even political power boss Paul Hubbard have than a local newspaper presenting their positions and campaign strategy by proxy in newspaper headlines just weeks before the election. There must have been a collective laugh from this group of waning incumbents which have been doing everything they could to distance themselves from their own news stories disclosing huge sums of money Lindsey and White received from political action committees (PACs) which Paul Hubbard controls.
Quite frankly, I believe the readers of the Brewton Standard should cry foul in this matter. When I presented Ms Whipple Bean an actual copy of the pledge as she refers to it in her article, which by the way, all candidates in Alabama [both Republican and Democratic] must sign in order to qualify with their respective party, I was most disturbed when she informed me that Alan Baker had already provided her a copy to read; but, she failed to state this fact in her article or even include its content for the public to see for themselves.
In closing, I would suggest to the readers of the Brewton Standard that Ms Whipple Bean's published statement which is attributed to the local Democratic Party chairman