Saturday, June 28, 2003

Daschle's clout...It's over!
Hillary is in and Daschle is out. South Dakotans should take this Rush Limbaugh analysis seriously:

But this started in Chappaqua, folks. The marching orders went out from Bill Clinton through puppets like Terry McAuliffe. Clinton could have simply told that Canadian babe he's dating, "You and I could be making real music together, but I got to do something with Hillary to get her into a better position to run in 2008." That's all it would've taken. The word would flow from that. Anyway, it's time to give Tom the gold watch, applaud him, thank him for years of devoted service - and shove him into a cab without fare money. It's over. I just love the way the Democrats do stuff. Hillary lets it be known she wants something, and the press picks it up like a loyal dog fetching the morning paper.

See more at the Inside South Dakota web site.

Friday, June 27, 2003

Facts verses fiction on the Argus Leader opinion page
My previous posts have covered an issue of factual accuracy regarding letters to the editor of the Argus Leader. There were two letters published in the Argus Leader today in regard to fictious content of previous letters. The first is from Al B. Koistinen:

Elizabeth Graff from Lennox blames President George W. Bush for the slow economy. She says it's "gone down the drain" and adds "die-hard Republicans seem to think that this is a result of former President Bill Clinton." She said, "Considering the facts, I think we have the right to criticize Bush."

She did not give any facts, but let me supply some. The Associated Press story on Dec. 11, 2000, "Unemployment rate nudges up to 4 percent." It states that this is the latest sign that the red-hot economy is cooling.

An Argus Leader story on Dec. 31, 2000, titled, "As economy slows, bank stocks slump," notes that banks are facing their most difficult year since the recession of the early Ô90s.

Another Argus Leader story, "Dow dives 684" as markets reopen, printed on Sept. 18, 2001, mentioned that this surpassed the record drop of 617 points in 2000.

So you see, according to these Argus Leader and AP stories, and many others, the economy was already falling before Bush got into office in 2001.

The second is from Joe R. Miller:

In response to Robert Snyder's June 12 letter regarding assault weapons, it was typical of the sensationalism produced by the liberal media and anti-gun lobbyists. Unfortunately, Snyder neglected to check his "facts" before submitting this letter.

For instance, it is not currently illegal to own and use "assault guns." Second, there are many who take pleasure in collecting guns and others who still enjoy an afternoon at the range with one of these "assault guns." Thus, their sole purpose is not for "hunting people."

Snyder's contention that the Republican Party is owned by the NRA is simply unfounded. They are no more owned by the NRA than Sens. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., and Tom Daschle, D-S.D., were by former President Bill Clinton, former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, and Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and the entire anti-gun lobby.

Finally, Snyder suggests the NRA advocates gun ownership for all Americans. However, the NRA does not advocate gun ownership by anyone but stable, law-abiding citizens.

Liberals can only resort to negative attacks as demonstrated by a third letter in today's Argus Leader from Sally A. Seward:

A recent Washington Post article reported on a conversation with Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., and spokesman Steve Hildebrand, revealing their campaign strategy. Here is an excerpt from the piece:

"Daschle said, ÔWe will be prepared to confront whatever comes, regardless of intensity levels.' Hildebrand said the (Daschle) campaign has assembled embarrassing information on several conservatives who are considering more attack ads against Daschle. The information includes videotape of a conservative activist discussing how he paid for his girlfriend's abortion." (Hildebrand is referring to a Christian's public testimony, speaking about his former life.)

If Daschle and his organization sink to these levels of unspeakable indecency, using a Christian's personal testimony as fodder for campaign ads, what does this say about the man? If they resort to this proposed tabloid sensationalism in our South Dakota newspapers and television, remember, Daschle is behind it.

South Dakotans are good people. We deserve better. Daschle has to go.

I would like readers of Sibby Online to start sending letters of truth to the Argus Leader and also other papers. The left can only make personal attacks on those of us who are brave enough to publicly verbalize the truth on the issues. All we have to do is respond, not in personal attacks...but in accurate, truthful, and consistent representation of the issues. Today three brave citizens made a difference. Tomorrow make a difference yourself.
Still no word from Randell Beck on why they omitted a factual comment from my editorial. Maybe the email has been deleted by now.

Thursday, June 26, 2003

Randell Beck ducking issue of bias
Jeff Gannon offers this insight regarding yesterday's Argus on Air segment on Greg Belfrage's Straight Talk:

After last week’s edition of “Argus on the Air” on Greg Belfrage’s afternoon talk show was captured and made available on this site, KELO stopped streaming audio on Wednesday following the first hour. Randell Beck, the beleaguered executive editor of the Argus Leader was featured on the second hour.

Beck has come under widespread criticism over his remarks on the program. During the broadcast, he referred to the Argus Leader's critics as a “cabal”. He also slandered former Senator Larry Pressler (R-SD). Beck said, “This is a guy who walks into a closet and doesn’t come out" in describing a fictitious event that implied the Republican had Alzheimer's disease. Pressler’s former communications director appeared on KELO the following day to deny such an event ever occurred.

On Wednesday's show, all callers wanting to speak about bias at the Argus Leader were screened out. Beck and his newspaper continue to be under pressure for its demonstrated bias toward Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD) and the South Dakota Democrats.

KELO has refused my request to come on the program.

I did tune into the program and listened to Randell Beck's answer to the lack of factual content in some of the letters to the editor, specifically the letters that falsely state that John Thune is a lobbyist for big drug companies. As I posted on 6/25/03 (Argus Leader keeping David Kranz's bias secret), the Argus Leader did omit factual correct comments from my letter. So I sent Randell Beck this email:

I took great interest in your comments regarding what you do and don't print from letters to the editor during Argus on Air today. I believe the main criteria was the factual content. Today you removed from my letter the fact that I emailed David Kranz, in October 2002, the Daschle email to NARAL. I have the email and Kranz's reply as proof that this is fact. What reason do you have to remove that fact from my published letter?

The email was opened at 8:37 this morning, but as of the time of this post, I have not received a response. Ironically, a Sioux Falls police officer called in to Argus on Air to take issue with the Argus Leader's probe into activities of certain officers. Apparently, the Argus Leader sent out certified letters to the respective officers and Randell Beck said the result was silence. Well...now that the shoe is on the other foot, Randell Beck also seems to prefer...silence.
Poster child for negative personal attacks
Clark Butler is up to his normal form with a letter in today's Argus Leader calling the President a liar. I have complained about this guy calling NRA members liars, as we endorsed John Thune, in a David Kranz 9/24/02 Argus Leader report. Butler was also used on Tim Johnson commercials calling Thune a "Johnny-come-lately" in regard to the farm issue during the 2002 Senate race. If Democrats have problems with negative attacks, they should take issue with some of their own.
Changes at the Argus Leader?
David Kranz, the Dean of South Dakota political reporters is today reporting on the storm while Argus Leader reporter Corrine Olson is reporting on Daschle. It makes me wonder.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Argus Leader keeping David Kranz's bias secret
Today the Argus Leader published one of my letters to the editor. Here is the original letter, with the omitted part in bold:

David Kranz reported on the Joseph Bottum session, that included the issue of abortion in politics, in the 6/12/2003 issue of the Argus Leader. In that report, Kranz included this point from Dan Pfeiffer:

“But Pfeiffer said it is unfortunate the Republicans are using the subject of religious beliefs for political gain.”

I was wondering why Kranz didn’t ask the next obvious question. If Democrats believe abortion is a religious and not a political issue, then why did Daschle participate in NARAL fundraising (Bottum referred to this as a public scandal), why did Daschle send an email in late October 2002 to NARAL supporters asking them to vote for Democrats (I sent a copy of that email to Kranz back then), and why did nine Democratic Presidential candidates attend a recent NARAL event?

What would Pfieffer’s spin been on that question?

This is not the first time the Argus Leader cut out parts of my letter which exposes Kranz's tactics. In this case, the NARAL email has not been fully disclosed to the readers of the Argus Leader my David Kranz, even though I sent it to him in October 2002. He could have enlightened readers in the 6/12/03 Bottum report, because Bottum referred to that email during the 6/11/03 discussion at the Holiday Inn. I was there. Obviously, the Daschle email to NARAL would have been embarrassing, and this is the side of stories that Kranz downplays, if he covers them at all.

I don't remember Kranz reporting Bottum's point that the Democratic leadership does not tolerate pro-lifers among its ranks. So much for the party of tolerance and diversity.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

More on the Argus Leader Pressler controversy
In my 6/23/03 post, I mentioned that Kristi Stewart-Golden, former press secretary for Pressler, was allowed to return to Straight Talk the next day to rebut the Argus Leader executive editor Randell Beck comments regarding Pressler. Today I received an email from Golden that included more details:

I also told Belfrage's audience that Kranz was the one who started the Pressler-Kranz feud....Beck totally mislead the listeners into thinking it was coming from the Pressler crew....it was not. I went over the Roll Call piece again. Belfrage responded that Beck said that the Kranz comment was taken out of context and that he was really talking about Pressler's strategy. I came back with that Beck was making up revisionist history as the Roll Call writers certainly backed up my interpretation and that they (the Roll Call guys) had called our office seeking comment on how the Muenster campaign seemed to be working hand in glove with the Argus.

Monday, June 23, 2003

Now look who may have Alzheimer’s
There is so much to cover regarding the Randell Beck 6/18/03 spin job on Greg Belfrage’s Straight Talk, that it's hard to know where to start. You can listen to it yourself at Jeff Gannon’s web site.

So, I have decided to start with Beck’s comments regarding Larry Pressler. Beck said with regard to Pressler "this is the guy who walked into a closet". Kristi Stewart-Golden, former press secretary for Pressler, was allowed to return to Straight Talk the next day to rebut Beck's comments regarding Pressler.

Beck’s attack on Pressler was in regard to allegations of bias concerning Kranz in 1990. As reported by Talon news on 6/17/03:

Steve Erpenbach, currently State Director for Daschle, was Assistant City Editor for the Argus Leader from 1986 until 1989. David Kranz, the reporter at the center of the controversy, was City Editor at the time. Erpenbach became Press Secretary for Ted Muenster in his 1990 bid to unseat Sen. Larry Pressler (R-SD). It was during this campaign that the New York Times and Roll Call criticized the Argus Leader for its biased coverage.

The crack about Pressler walking into a closet was the false issue of his possible Alzheimer’s. Here are a couple of Kranz cracks regarding this from the Argus in 1990:

“it would be logical to challenge candidates to release their health records.” AL, September 9, 1990.

Here is a comment from Kranz on a report regarding Pressler’s opponent Ted Munster:

“challenging the Senator’s record and memory on a variety of issues.” AL, September 30, 1990.

Here are some more examples of Kranz's "objectivity" regarding the Republican Senator:

Sen. Larry Pressler forfeited his chance to be considered a great Senator long ago. His obsession with image building and photo sessions has left him preoccupied and ineffective.” AL, December 30, 1990.

“The national media continues to give Pressler grief. Now comes the Washingtonian revelation: ‘George Bush and Dan Quayle’s least favorite Republican senator is Larry Pressler—neither wants to go into SD to campaign for him. One White House aide called him ‘flaky.’” AL, September 30, 1990.

“Look for Pressler to ask the State Broadcasters Association to establish a news council. Pressler is so upset with the news coverage of his campaign that he is looking for a judicial body to discipline the media for questioning his effectiveness.” AL, September 16, 1990.

“[Pressler] turned to television for image-enhancement with a nationally televised visit with local military men. The report was beamed back home at an expense of $1,000, plus production costs. In the end, Pressler botched his message twice, calling it the Gulf of Persia and then getting the ship wrong. Yankton native Tom Brokaw did some national eye rolling from his NBC anchor desk and corrected the senator.” AL, September 9, 1990.

“No one else comes close to filling the role of a public servant who uses slick marketing to make minor accomplishments look like world-saving ventures.” AL, July 8, 1990.

If these example's of Kranz's bias and innuendo aren't enough, check out some back issues of the Mitchell Daily Republic, when Kranz was the managing editor. Here is what was said in a MDR 5/11/1978 opinion regarding Pressler’s “high staff turnovers”:

“But now, when one seeks to take a step up the ladder, it is only appropriate that they who are to decide, should decide with a full airing of the facts.”

Then on 6/2/1978, this MDR opinion includes the revelation that Pressler raised $35,495.50, with $24,950 coming from other states:

“Pressler goes into Tuesday’s primary, not with the help of a lot of those dollars from ‘you folks out there’ that he would like to profess he has. Instead he rides high and mighty into the primary confrontation with big bucks from big folks in big states.”

I haven’t heard Kranz say anything about Daschle’s Out-of-State $2,873,748, which represents 88.5% of the total raised for his 2004 re-election bid. If Kranz is for a “full airing of the facts”, maybe he should look into how much of Daschle’s “big bucks” comes from the “big folks in big states” who hire Daschle’s lobbyist wife Linda, such as Loral and Northwest Airlines, who contributed handsomely to his 1998 campaign.

If you listen closely to the Randell Beck Straight talk piece, you will notice his not having the facts straight. First, he referred to the 1968 mock Democratic convention as a “debate”. Belfrage also had to remind him of the year. When it comes to Kranz’s past, Randell Beck wishes he had Alzheimers.

Went to California last week and I am back trying to get caught up. More posts are to come.

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