Monday, October 30, 2006

JS picks up on weeks-old Schock campaign dirt, buries it below routine coverage

Molly Parker of the Journal Star did get around to reporting on the Carla Grube/Freedom House controversy in the Aaron Schock campaign. That story is at the bottom of today's Word on the Street column I've written about it after having read about it at Willy Nilly's site. I don't believe for one second that they found out about this from the Bureau County Republican.

I have several thoughts:

The article ran below a segment discussing the departure of Eric Lane, who is described as Bill Spears campaign manager and whose salary is paid by the Illinois Democratic Party. Spears says Lane was never his campaign manager and I'm fairly certain from earlier conversations that the party organization wasn't paying his salary. If so, his movement from one campaign to another says nothing about how the party feels about Spears' chances of defeating Schock.

In journalism, the bigger story leads. Why was the tale of the transplanted staffer considered juicier than the other story, which involved possible illegal hiring, possible violation of rules against non-profits getting involved in politics and with sexual harassment by a female employer against male staffers, and this person's involvement in Aaron Schock's campaign. Shouldn't that story be the one greeting reader's first? Schock's campaign manager, Steve Shearer, served on the Board of Directors of Freedom House and once shared a home with Grube.

I'm NOT complaining about Molly writing about Bill Spears in less that glowing detail. This is the kind of story that political reporting is all about -- who's up and who's down, who's coming and who's going and why. I just think the two segments ran in the wrong order, and that the newspaper did Molly -- accused far too often of being overly fond of Schock -- new favors by doing so.

C rossposted to Peoria Pundit


Walking Wounded,  9:16 AM  

I read through the article today and quite frankly, found it overly burdened with what seemed to be trivial matters the average voter wouldn't care about. I'm not saying the article wasn't factual, and there were some discrepencies pointed out, but honestly, who else besides us political junkies would read through all that?
In my opinion, Molly has written past articles criticizing Schock, which seem to read less than objective. She needs to give it a rest.

Anonymous,  3:02 PM  

Molly had to do something at the end to show that she wasn't totally in Aaron's pocket. This was a weak piece and mostly missed the point.

Bill, she isn't unfairly criticized for being overly fond of Schock. She is overly fond of Schock to the point of embarrassment.

Anonymous,  5:09 PM  

Bill, if you don't believe her for a minute when she writes that she got the story from the Bureau Republican, why would you believe that she isn't covering for Schock in this? It looks to me like she may have been burying something in plain view.

Anonymous,  5:14 PM  

Come on now every knows Wonder Boy must have some totally logical explanantion of why he writes check to non for profits to pay for staffers.
Especially staffers who have seperate entrances
Perhaps K. Lyons could check into this one --- after a run, of course

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