Friday, August 22, 2008

DISCUSSION: THE REP'S EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR ALLOWS HERSELF TO BECOME POINT OF CONTROVERSY?

Gayle Beck, the editorial page editor of The Repository, is the bane of area Democrat candidates and letter to the editor writers.

It is no surprise to the STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) that the Boccieri for Congress camp (16th Congressional District) would find Ms. Beck as moderator objectional as reported in today's Rep.

The Report's experience with Editor Beck does not exactly square with Repository Publisher Kampman's description of Beck.
Kampman said he was shocked and disappointed that Boccieri's campaign decided not to participate in the Canton Forum debate.

'I am at a loss to understand their objection to our choice for a moderator,' Kampman said. 'Gayle Beck's integrity and fairness are beyond reproach. No one from their group has attempted to discuss their concerns with me since the initial meeting.'
The Report's take is that in her own mind (what else would one expect), Beck believes she is the quintessentially fair person. But that perception is not shared by many area Democrat officeholders/candidates/letter to editor writers.

Letter to editor writers who espouse Democrat (especially "well left of center" positions) bitterly complain how Beck refuses to publish their letters and, for letters which eventually get published, engages in nitpicky quibbling on sources, et cetera.

On the other hand, she seemingly lets "right wing" attack dogs unfettered access to the editorial pages of "the only newspaper in town."

The Report's experience is that The Rep. only endorses Democrats (in general elections) when victory is a foregone conclusion.

The Rep's editorial conduct in the Creighton/Healy race was a editorial disgrace. One wonders how Beck et al could look at themselves in the mirror after that performance. The Rep unabashedly published, republished and republished again its preference of Creighton to the point of being open to being perceived as the public relations arm of the Creighton campaign.

Healy, in the opinion of The Report, allowed Beck to serve as moderator of his Canton Forum debate with Creighton only because he knew winning the race was pretty much of a slam dunk.

But the 16th District is a different story. Boccieri probably has a leg up on Schuring and The Report has previously predicted a Boccerri win anywhere from 55% to 45% to 52% to 48%. Others think the race will be much closer. Some even predict a Schuring win. So the Boccieri camp apparently is not willing to chance getting blindsided by The Repository/Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce (notoriously seen by many as an arm of the Stark County Republican Party) "axis of political mischief."

Kirk Schuring himself has told The Report that he discerns a bias in his favor by The Repository Editorial Board, Well, Gayle Beck is, perhaps, the cornerstone of the Board. Why would the Boccieri people trust her to be fair and balanced as a debate moderator?

The Report is surprised that Beck has allowed herself to be the issue on whether or not 16th Congressional District voters get to hear the candidates' views in a moderated debate.

Question: Who does The Repository care more about? Its editorial page editor or the voting public? Shouldn't Editor Beck remove herself from the controversy?

1 comment:

Matthew said...

In my opinion, a debate is a debate. I'm sick of candidates' needs to have everything perfect for them. What we need is to see candidates in situations where they aren't necessarily comfortable, and be asked the tough questions. Especially in this case, considering the fact that Boccieri has been crying for more debates. They've been given an opportunity to debate, and just because the water isn't their ideal temperature, they won't do it? I don't like it.