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Sally Bouchard

How The News Can Win Elections
By Sally Bouchard
Nov 21, 2005 - 5:43:00 PM

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How the Press Can Turn Elections

With the power of the press, elections can be won or lost. If the press is without ethics, anything goes and good candidates go down in defeat.

One of the best examples of that is an ad that was run in the 1964 elections between Barry Goldwater and Lyndon Johnson. Who can forget the little girl with the flowers and then the bomb went off. Goldwater went on the serve his country well in the Senate, while Johnson left the presidency in disgrace.

The Kennedy family also knew how to use the press, and with many friends in high positions in the press, their coverage was good and mostly one-sided. None of their friends looked beneath the glamor to see the bad side of the Kennedys, nor how they abused their power. It all was Camelot.

Our own Senator Ed Muskieís bid for the presidency was brought down by a publisher of a New Hampshire paper. Senator Muskie was a good decent man who couldnít fight the hateful campaign to get him out of the race; which he did and it was the country's loss.

In Millinocket, we have a very one-sided press and most of the people donít realize that little fact. There was no organization named CREED at the time of the election and the reporter knew that all along.

If there was no organization, then how could people who didnít belong to an organization that wasnít, be responsible for writing nasty letters or vandalizing signs? Since the reporter didnít take time to interview any of the people who took out the petitions, to find out anything about why CREED was formed and then did away with, she couldnít report the facts. Quite likely, she didn't want to know the truth.

Rather than simply believing anything that is published in the newspaper, maybe people should have taken the time to know the people who took out the petitions. They would have found out that they were not capable of having anything to do with vile letters or vandalizing signs.

The people who took out the petitions are good people. Some of them have worked hard for their town for many years, and never did anything to benefit themselves. They would never write letters full of hate or vandalize signs - and the reporter from the press knew that, but still she wrote as if they were responsible. The innuendoes worked, but ethics were clearly missing from the press.

Who wrote the letters or vandalize the signs will never be known, but if a crime is committed, the first thing a police officer should ask is who benefitted?

Yes, Millinocket; there is bias in the press and instead of believing what you read, you should take time to get the facts from other, more reliable sources. If your news source is one-sided, it is up to the people to find out what the other side is trying to tell you and then you can make a judgment.

If the editor of the Portland Press had read his own paper last year, he would of read that Millinocket, Greenville and Jackman are designated to become Gateway Communities to a National Park. That article was written by a former editor of the Portland Press. The editor also should of realized that the trouble in Millinocket started before David Cyr - not Paul Cyr - was on the council.

A certain group keeps telling us that they want to move this town forward. The question that should of been asked is to what? What is their vision? Will the public be part of it or will this vision be done without any input from the public?

To all the people who were part of the petition drives, at least you tried. Some of you I knew all of my life, and others became new friends. We did it without lies or smears, and we tried to give the people a say in their government. We did the best we could, we kept our honor, and we did not get in the mud with the others.

The truth will set you free and lies will shackle you and your freedoms will die.

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