Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Thursday, October 9, 2014

AZ Republic editorial board desperate to validate false equivalence myth

The Arizona Republic's E.J. Montini in his latest column, "Our lobbyist-turned-politician: Good. Theirs: Bad," wrote,
The Democrats say we shouldn't vote for Republican attorney general candidate Mark Brnovich because he was a lobbyist.
The Republicans say we shouldn't vote for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Fred Duval because he was a lobbyist.
So the Democrats and the Republicans agree: Lobbyists are bad.
Except … wait.
I'm confused.
Want to lay down some bets on whether Montini's not really confused? No, he knows the difference. Montini's using a rhetorical device to blur the distinction. The intent in that device is similar to the magician using sleight of hand in card tricks.

Get you to pay attention to one thing he does or says so that you don't see, in this case the difference between lobbying at all and lobbying for killing a private prison bill that would have lowered the earning potential of the human warehousing industry by prohibiting importation of violent criminals for storage at private prisons in Arizona.

Did the Republicans specify what lobbying DuVal did for which special interests and what impact he had on any legislation or regulation? Do you honestly believe that if the Republican Governors' Association could nail DuVal -- for lobbying on any issue or item that had adverse tangible impact on any segment of society -- that they would forget to call the public's attention to that egregious whatever it happened to be?

Why would Montini want readers to forget or not intelligently understand the distinction?

Could it be the doomed business model operated by Gannett, parent company of the Republic? Could it be that Arizona's largest newspaper doesn't want advertisers and readers to think it has become a Liberal rag? This time of every election cycle is when newspapers and television get to roll in the dough. Don't for one moment believe the indignation in the pages of the Republic for how campaigns are run. Don't for a second believe they really care that Wendy Rogers used footage from an execution video in her TV ad.

Gannett just wants as much of the money from all candidates of all flavors as they can get during this election (money) harvest time.

And then there's the Republic editorial board's resident curmudgeon, MacEachern. He laments, in his latest missive, the Democratic candidates' hypocrisy in badmouthing Dark Money, especially that which emanates from the Kochtopus.

I don't need to go through Mac's column line by line. He hasn't made a sound, rational, valid argument on an issue in a long time.

For some historical perspective, in 2012 when Ed Ableser ran for election to the Arizona Senate and Juan Mendez and Andrew Sherwood competed for seats in the Arizona House of Representatives, there was an outburst of faux indignation from Phoenix area media. I quoted the Yellow Sheet in October 2012.
Escalating the attack, Ableser and his Democratic teammates Juan Mendez and Andrew Sherwood have labeled their LD26 GOP opponents as “Tea Party puppets” in a mailer that was sent to voters in Tempe and Mesa this week. The hit piece shows Lewis and House candidates Ray Speakman and Mary Lou Taylor being held up by strings, with a caption that declares: “Between funding Sheriff Joe, endorsing Russell Pearce, and taking $100,000 from crooked lobbyists, you have to wonder… Who’s pulling their strings?”
The Phoenix New Times writer Stephen Lemons took issue with the mailer.
Here's proof positive that Democrats can be just as scummy as Republicans.
I mean this hit piece mailed out to folks in Legislative District 26, declaring that state Senator Jerry Lewis, the man who took on former state Senate President Russell Pearce, the biggest bigot in this state, and defeated him, is a "Tea Party puppet."
Wait a sec, Lewis? The former Mormon stake president recruited to run by Pearce-despisers in Mesa? The dude who took a padlock to the groin when his candidacy was announced in 2011, and who suffered the scorn of many fellow GOPers because he had the temerity to take on a hero to Sand Land haters and wingnuts?
Yep, that Lewis.
How quickly they forget.
How quickly Mr. Lemons forgot what Senator Jerry Lewis, as nice a man as there ever has been in the Republican Party, did when he got his chance to represent voters in the Arizona Senate. The senate was controlled by Tea Party extremists under Russell Pearce until he was recalled. Lewis replaced him but did not stop the Tea Party faction from controlling the senate. Lewis fell right into line as was expected of him by the GOP caucus. So, the imagery of puppet strings held by Tea Party influences was legitimate but drew outrage anyway.

Not enough outrage to get the LD26 candidates to retract the claim. All three Democrats went on to win election that year.

My point is that the Arizona Republic's outrage about the ads is bullshit. I think Wendy Rogers' ad was inappropriate and made offensive claims. But I'm not getting all excited about her ad or making demands to take it down. She took it down anyway.

The Rotellini ads blasting Brno for effectively lobbying to kill the bill to which would have prohibited importation of violent criminals was right on the mark (pun intended). Every single word was carefully chosen to be completely accurate.

The ad did imply a relationship between the bill, the lobbying and the three dangerous criminals escaping custody of the private prison company. But that relationship was as an example of the risk that Brno said was less important than the cronyism related profiteering of private prison enterprises.

So, as far as I'm concerned, the Republic can suck rocks. 

This is not kindergarten. This is about power. This is about conflict. 

If the media actually represented and set forth the good of the community as its primary purpose, rather than to promote the interests of those who advertise with them, there would be less of a need for mailers and videos starkly portraying the weaknesses of candidates. 

But as I intend to demonstrate in the next day or so, local newspapers are less interested in reporting the truth than we should expect of them.

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