Our publication has taken a lot of grief for some of the things we have published recently regarding the David Stringer saga, so it is a good time to remind our readers of our responsibilities and how we try to live up to them. It is also a good time to compare our practices to those who criticize us.
Most Americans likely cannot remember back that far, but the media used to be ferocious defenders of our civil liberties. Those days are long gone, as evidenced by recent questions/statements made by CNN Chief International Anchor Christiane Amanpour.
Amanpour, formerly known as a fierce advocate for free speech, recently asked former FBI director James Comey in an interview if something should have been done to punish Donald Trump and others for chanting “lock her up,” about Hillary Clinton.
From cases involving Jussie Smollett to Brett Kavanagh to the Catholic Covington kids, the legacy media is now the judge, jury and more recently the prosecutor as well, and due process is a distant memory. Guilt, which is to say real guilt – provable guilt, is no longer something that needs to exist.
It is all in the accusation and nothing more is needed than an accusation once the media decides you are a worthy target. This is because the legacy media no longer yearns for truth or strives to inform and enlighten, rather it is a partisan beast seeking to advance narratives that serve an agenda that is at odds with (or often at war with) the truth.
When we print a story related to a 35-year-old arrest of David Stringer we report it as the story he shared with us. We are not police investigators with subpoena power to verify each fact, nor do we claim to be. We wrote what we had and made it clear what it was and where it came from so that our readers could be informed and use their own judgment to reach conclusions.
As the story developed we reported on it, covering things like ethics complaints being filed, concerns about bias on the part of the committee chairman, Stringer’s ultimate resignation, and a post sharing the entire document dump from the committee after Stringer stepped down. Our readers got to read it all, absorb it, and reach their own conclusions.
For which we were accused of covering for or pampering a “pedophile” by the same outlets who acted like our original reporting never happened so that they could pretend to “break” the story.
Virtually nothing can be as disgusting as the crimes David Stringer was accused of 35 years ago. Yet to rely on the mainstream media’s reporting is to believe that he was guilty of all of it in spite of the very well-known fact (in media circles) that he was never tried for or convicted of any of the original charges.
Let that sink in for a moment: David Stringer was not tried or convicted of any of those charges. None of those of us who have covered this case know if he ever committed those acts.
It is not “covering for” Stringer to report that real fact. On the contrary, we published every page of the House file. We are accused of bias, yet other outlets eagerly published unsubstantiated accusations against Stringer, with no regard to the consequences of this irresponsible demonization of a human being. If we showed any bias, it was toward withholding judgment until the actual facts came to light.
It should be noted that Stringer was accepted as an attorney by bar associations in three jurisdictions after these allegations were made. Bar associations perform their own investigations before allowing individuals to practice law.
It is not our job to defend him or anyone else from charges. People can defend themselves if they wish. It is our job to try and provide our readers with both sides, with facts, with documents, with the things you all will need to decide for yourselves.
Ironically, one of the online news publications that attacked us for having an agenda had promoted a Stringer story for weeks entitled “Rep. David Stringer: My racist views aren’t racist, they’re true” when Stringer never said such a thing. Their publication thinks Stringer is a racist, therefore at a time when he was being accused of holding racist views, they branded him a racist as a statement of fact, with no need for their readers to exercise any independent judgment of their own.
We do things differently. While nothing may be as disgusting as the Stringer allegations, it is also disgusting that sanctimonious politicians and their minions in the mainstream media, with a gleam in their eyes, pummel the least of us while claiming to be above all of us.
Perhaps that is why we have heard from readers thanking us for our attempts at balance and from criminal defense attorneys thanking us for pointing out the very nature of the plea bargain system.
Not long ago I sat down with another former elected official, whose day job is criminal defense. He had been accused of harassing his soon-to-be-ex-wife. He admitted he was an “a**hole and angry” and he claimed he was overcharged – that she had falsely accused him of disgusting behavior. Eventually, he pled to lesser crimes he didn’t commit in order to avoid risking the loss of everything he had worked for.
I don’t know whether this former official committed the crimes or not. I only heard one side of the story and had no evidence to review. What I do know is what he told me was going through his mind as he found himself trapped in the system he knew to be tragically flawed.
This former official said he had too much to lose, so he accepted a plea deal. That thought struck him as ironic. He had clients who came into the system with nothing, who knew that they had nothing to lose if they demanded a trial, and he had everything to lose if he did.
Once the media is done dripping salacious and tawdry tidbits like formaldehyde into the veins of the politically deceased, keeping the body fresh long enough for grandstanding politicians and preening “journalists” to stand in front of it to frame their ethical and moral superiority, they will return to grand quests for criminal justice reform without the slightest awareness of their hypocrisy.
And their circulation will drop further, their subscriber base will shrink further, and our readership will continue to climb because what people want is truth, free from anyone’s agenda.
That is what we strive to provide for readers here. If you feel like we are doing a good job then please tell your friends and family about us and encourage them to give us a try. If you think we can do better, please tell us so we can continue improving our product. Thank you.