Thursday, February 02, 2006

Boehlert's Fish Wrapper

Watch out, Central New York readers, for the Rome Sentinel. The newspaper has proven itself to be a stalwart ally of Sherwood Boehlert in the past, and is up to its old tricks again this year.

George Waters, the President of the Rome Sentinel, has been making political donations to Sherwood Boehlert for years, and is on the record as funding Boehlert again this time around, sending a five hundred dollar check to Boehlert's campaign committee last year.

But, what Waters does best for Boehlert is not in the bank, but in the pages of his newspaper. The positive, upbeat news about Sherwood Boehlert dominates the Rome Sentinel, with only a hint of the run of bad news for the candidate has recently suffered. There's nothing in the Sentinel about Boehlert's troubles with fundraising this year, merely a headline reading: "Boehlert: We’re coming out gangbusters". Gangbusters? It's a bit more like Droopy the Dog this time around.

Certainly there has been nothing of substance in the pages of the Sentinel to inform readers of the campaign's sleeper story - the fundraising connections between Sherwood Boehlert and the alleged corrupt practices of Walter Rich, a story that will come to a head with a public meeting in six days and a tell-all book soon to be published by former Rich associate David Butler. All that the Sentinel has published is Boehlert's side of the story - his claim that the investigation into Rich has "nothing to do with me", in spite of Boehlert's own admission that the investigation has been so tight that he only knows what has been reported in the newspapers.

And what about the Democrats in the race against Boehlert? The coverage there has been scant, and always negative or covered up with positive references to Boehlert. For example, the article covering the likely candidacies of Leon Koziol, Les Roberts, and Mike Arcuri began with the headline, "Democrat warns against divisive candidates".

Now, democracy is divisive?

The citizens of Rome deserve better than the Rome Sentinel. If George Waters had any journalistic integrity, he would refrain from sending donations to candidates in campaigns that his newspaper covers, and would have even-handed coverage for everyone in the race. Sadly, Waters has chosen partisanship over integrity.

Well, that's why this blog was created. People of Rome, consider Take Back New York's 24th the anti-Sentinel.

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