Despicable Local Media Coverage, by Tom Fodi

citizenWe all know national, corporate media is designed to cater to a particular audience. It’s no surprise when one tunes into the Fox News Channel to hear a lot of criticism of the left. MSNBC/CNN is only too happy to criticize the right because that’s what it’s designed to do. When compared to the admirable work reporting the news used to be at one time, what passes as “news” today is nothing short of despicable.

When it comes to local media, however, it’s truly unfortunate when partisan politics gets in the way of reporting objective, factual news. No one can read the newest addition of “The Citizen,” and not see the blatant display of ax grinding and partisanship on the front page. In a matter of two paragraphs, Ms. Rankin, owner/editor of “The Citizen,” identifies her personal friends and enemies involved in Bellevue politics. In what Ms. Rankin hopes will be glossed over as honest news-reporting, she attempts to damage the reputation of two long-standing servants of our community and champion the cause of her personal friend and sore loser.

In her description of the Bellevue mayoral race, Rankin describes Jane Braunlich, the candidate whom Bellevue-Democrats overwhelmingly opposed last May, as being so concerned the people have a “real Democrat” for whom to vote, she’s conducting a desperate, last ditch effort, write in campaign. It’s not that Jane simply cannot accept an honest defeat, it’s for the people. Jane just wants to be sure the Democrats have a “real option.”

So, what’s wrong with the person selected by the Democrats to carry their endorsement into the general election? According to Ms. Rankin, Paul Cusick is a Tea Party member and registered Republican. There is no statement of fact or supporting evidence of any kind that Mr. Cusick is or has ever been part of the Tea Party, she just puts it out there knowing full well that many potential voters will be scared from supporting Cusick because his name was printed near the term Tea Party. (Just to protect herself though, she is sure to state in what amounts to a slight sidebar notation – Mr. Cusick held numerous past offices mayor, council member, etc. as a Democrat.)

It’s interesting that Jane is the only candidate for public office who gets a direct quote in the article. It’s interesting that Joe Scioscia, the Republican candidate for mayor whose campaign signs seem to be dominating the community these days is barely even mentioned in the article.

But, perhaps what is even more interesting than all that, is what Liberty in Bellevue pointed out prior to the primary election: Connie Rankin’s name was all over Jane Braunlich’s official campaign website when it first went live.

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Ms. Rankin’s reporting on each of the other races are all more or less objective. She objectively writes, “Lynn Heffley is being challenged by Republican Grant Saylor.” She describes the races in Ben Avon, Emsworth, and the Avonworth/Northgate School Districts quite straightforwardly. Apparently she has no ax to grind in any of those races.

But, if you weren’t paying attention, you might skip over one little dig Rankin makes towards another longstanding community servant with whom Rankin and her friends have been at odds with for many years. In her description of the council race happening in Bellevue’s First Ward Rankin writes, “[Kathy] Coder returns to local politics after last year’s disastrous foray into the state house race.”

After reading this I did a little math…very basic math. In May 2012, Kathy Coder challenged Robert Matzie for the 16th district seat in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Coder ultimately lost the general election in which Democrats, Republicans, and Independents voted in a region ranging from Bellevue to Ross to Ambridge and Economy, PA 12,369 to 15,798. That’s a difference of 3, 429 votes in an open electoin from all over the western Allegheny County and eastern Beaver County region. Now that might sound quite disastrous to Ms. Rankin, but the fact of the matter is, Mr. Matzie won by garnering 56% of the vote.

Now let’s compare that to her friend, Jane Braunlich’s defeat in the borough only primary election. Only 614 democrats were even motivated enough to vote, but yet Braunlich lost to Cusick 355 vs 259…or, in other words, Jane Braunlich could not garner the support of more than 42% of the members of her own party in her own borough.

Now you tell me who had a disastrous foray in a recent election?

You know local media is in a sad state of affairs when one of the candidates in a heated election who also happens to be the owner/editor of a media outlet offers more objective reporting of the facts. Click here to see Paul Cusick’s article concerning the mayoral race. This article is a perfect example of why Paul Cusick’s “North Borough’s News” website will continue to be my primary source of local news in our community. I simply don’t know how to trust the alternative any longer.

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2 Responses to “Despicable Local Media Coverage, by Tom Fodi”

  1. The desperation stinks but it smells familiar doesn’t it? Isn’t this the same person who threw out a military man’s vote to win? This AFTER she was defeated by a coin flip? Sorry but if these people get in, this town deserves it. I HOPE they don’t but it won’t be without a fight from those that want better for this town.

    I didn’t get a chance to go to the forum last night but wanted to ask Ms. Braunlich if she believed in the democratic way. If she did, they she would gracefully bow out because she LOST decisively, due to her disastrous foray into re-election.

    Lastly, I agree that the slam on Kathy was ridiculous. I like to use the word brave but definitely not disastrous.

  2. Connie Rankin is a low information simpleton. She states Mr. Cusick is a member of the Tea Party. Big deal! Word is that she was/is a member of the ACLU so what can we expect from her. The Tea Party is an ideologically driven movement of people not a freakin’ social club. You cannot be a member of the Tea Party just like you can’t be a member of the vegans or environmentalists.

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