October 3, 2007

Greater Niagara Newspaper's Continued Denial

We've taken Governor Spitzer to task before for his role in Troopergate (also known as Choppergate). But once again, the reality of the situation is that for those of us in Western New York who rely on the Greater Niagara Newspaper group for our news, the issue isn't so much Spitzer, but the absolute denial of GNN to recognize what the overwhelming majority of the people of this state believe to be Spitzer's role in Troopergate.

In today's editorial, the Union Sun & Journal begrudgingly calls out Spitzer for his plan to give driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. In the editorial, the editorial staff calls Spitzer's executive order a "rare political misstep from the young governor". Most people of this state would disagree with GNN's assertion that this was a rare political misstep.

According to the latest Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday, the overwhelming majority of New Yorkers say the governor should testify about what he knew of the scandal involving State Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno’s travels around the state.

Seventy-eight percent of voters said he should have to testify under oath, and the majority of voters also believe Spitzer knew what his aides were doing when they compiled information about Bruno's use of state aircraft and leaked it to the media.

Fifty-six percent of all voters surveyed said they think the governor was aware of what his aides were doing, which could be having an affect on the governor's approval ratings.

The latest poll finds 47 percent of voters approve of his job performance, down one percentage point from the last poll taken at the end of July. But his disapproval rating shot up six percentage points to 34 percent.

Quinnipiac surveyed more than 1,500 New York state voters last week. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5.

What does our local paper focus on? Those damn Republicans pouncing on this issue. Folks, that's politics. Right or wrong, good or bad, that's politics. When your political adversary makes a mistake, you capitalize on it.

Who does the US&J point the finger at for Spitzer's "misstep"? Tom Reynolds. Apparently he, as one member of the 435 member House of Representatives, should have simply enacted massive immigration reform.

Immigration reform is the most polarizing issue in the country, with no easy answer, but it's Tom Reynold's fault that Eliot Spitzer has enacted this legislation that anyone can see is designed to do nothing more than enhance his voter base.

Spitzer's action on illegals if unfortunate and misguided. The Greater Niagara Newspaper group's continued slanting of the "news" is disgraceful and irresponsible.

This county has a nice mix of Republicans, Democrats, Independents and Conservatives. But when it comes to core family values, this community is conservative. Not politically conservative, but hard-working, family-oriented people that worship Our Lord. This paper writes as if it is in New York City. Tim Marren, the editor, has no idea of what the people of this community value. I can tell you one thing, it's not deception, and that's what he is spoon feeding us every day.

Just give us all sides to an issue and let us make the decision what is right and what is wrong. My fear is that Marren simply believes that the people of this community are incapable of making that distinction, so he has taken it upon himself to do it for us.

And that folks, is where we must draw the line.


Disgusted said...
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Niagara Prognosticator said...
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clemenza said...

On the original issue, it is now apparent that GNN does a terrible job covering both local and state news. They may hit the community stufff OK, which doesn't take any thought, but when it comes to understanding an issue and reporting on it, they stink.

What's funny is that when you look at some of GNN's alumni like Scott Leffle and Mike Hudson, it's clear they understand the nuances of issues and their long reaching impact.

Now, both Hudson and Leffler make a living being provocative and controversial, but if they were in still in the newsroom, you'd get legitimate, balanced stories.

The terrible reporters there now have no depth of understanding to what they are covering and it shows.

Sail Away said...

The above comment was deleted because it essentially blamed Dennis Virtuoso for the tragic death of a construction worker in Niagara Falls. We may disagree politically, but those types of accusations will never be tolerated.

Virtual Unreality said...

I think you're dead on in saying that the local papers have no idea of the values of it's readership. This is not NYC and for GNN to repeatedly try to force it's Liberal ideas down our throats is unfortunate.

Spitzer screwed up, anyone who is even remotely informed knows this. Why GNN feels the need to cover-up what the rest of the state already knows is beyond me.

If you're right in saying that Marren has taken it upon himself to decide what and what is not newsworthy, we are in trouble. Some 25 year-old punk who has no stake in the community certainly has not earned the right to dictate to any of us his personal beliefs.

Niagara Prognosticator said...

Thank you Sail Away for deleting the original comment. Way off base. I would not be offended if you now delete my response to clean up the thread. i will make an appropriate comment in a follow-up post.

Delinquent said...
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Larry S said...

I think Tim Marren is coming in here and doing his "rodeo clown" routine! Come on, Tim, stick to the issue!

Niagara Prognosticator said...

Now, on with the Troopergate emphasis of the original post.

While a poll may show that most people may believe that Spitzer may have had more involvement, the truth is that most people really don't care about the issue. Its not near the top of the list which would include issues such as tax rates, economic development, crime and punishment, education and a whole hots of other issues that the People of NYS want addressed. Trroopergate is waaaaay down the list of concerns.

While I do not condone the type of apparent misuse of the resources of NYS taxpayers to politically target a rival as was apparent in the governor's inner-circle, I also don't condone the misuse of NYS taxpayers resources by the likes of Joe bruno who use state aircraft to attend political functions and then include some unnecessary public policy meeting to justify its use.

Much ado has been made of similar transgressions in the past, including Pataki's wife's trooper escorts for various personal errands and Hevesi's similar misuse of state resources.

The only real difference I see is in degree of offense. Each cited nebulous "security concerns" as the rationale in attempts to justfy the misuse. Pataki's was deemed acceptable, Hevesi's not. Somehow Hevesi committed a crime, but Pataki did not.

Here, we have a similar situation. Both Spitzer's people and Bruno misused taxpayer resources for political purposes justifying each with a tenuous public purpose. That is, enough of a public purpose to negate any criminal misuse of the resources because there was at least some degree of public purpose (Spitzer - investigating misuse of state resources; Bruno meeting with constituent interest groups and elected officials).

The real issue then, is not who should be blamed (for they all should be blamed) but what to do about these misuses?

Clearly, some drastic reform is necessary here. Some clear lines need to be drawn so that these abuses can be detected and those responsible held accountable.

But rather than focusing on the real important issues here, partisans on both sides continue to shout blame across the aisle.

Politics as usual. Too bad.