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Mille Lacs County, Minnesota

Mille Lacs News

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Messenger

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How the Mille Lacs Messenger

Failed We the People

 

"Freedom of Speech isn't free. You gotta pay your lawyers."

Hannabelle

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Although I knew that I would be in a tough battle with the Onamia mayor, the city council, and Nexus, the multi-million dollar corporation - to keep them from forcing 94 sex offenders into my neighborhood, I never anticipated that I would also go to war with "The Mille Lacs Messenger", our local newspaper. I must say, this is one of the most disappointing aspects of the events surrounding our terrible situation this past year. You'd like to think that the press is impartial, accurate, and dedicated to providing its readers with facts and information they need in order to make up their own minds, to make their own decisions, to form their own opinions. Kevin Anderson made it clear to me from Day One (the day I called him on the phone in April, 2007) that this would not be the case here. He voiced a strong opinion in favor of the sex offender institution and defended those people in charge of cramming the Nexus project down our throats. He admitted that he is indeed Pronexus. Not only that, he was also hostile to me... for no reason. Hannabelle had yet to come calling. Later, I found out that Kevin did have his reasons, personal reasons for being against anyone who tried to oppose Nexus being built on the Bye property.

I knew that without the newspaper to give the people the facts about what Larry Milton, the city council, and Nexus were up to, we had no chance of winning our battle to remain residential. Sure, I would have loved to have public opinion on our side. But it was worse than just lack of the Messenger's coverage. When they did include us in their paper, it was a very negative portrayal of the property owners. Their slant actually turned public opinion against us. We only wanted fair play. For us, nothing has been fair. What we got was a stacked deck - a deck which guaranteed our failure. Because of this, I began our own newspaper - The Mille Lacs News. I never claimed to be "a real reporter" writing for "a real newspaper". I just wanted our story told. The Mille Lacs Messenger screwed us. No surprise there.

Personally, I was most disappointed that the staff from the Messenger couldn't see that there were principles at stake that went far beyond sex offenders and disgruntled neighbors. Some extremely important concepts were just plain missed or neglected. In essence: They just didn't seem to "get it". But then, maybe they were just afraid to speak out against Nexus or Larry Milton or the Onamia city council. Maybe they were bullied or threatened. Maybe they were afraid to "stick their necks out." Maybe they were afraid of repercussions. Or maybe they just didn't care about the rights of citizens being shit on by a fascist government and a powerful corporation.

You can see some of the problems we encountered with the Messenger by clicking this link.  I may write more about it in detail later. What is important for people to understand is basic: You can't believe everything you read in the newspaper, especially the Mille Lacs Messenger.

I hope that the Mille Lacs News' scrutinizing, criticism, and general holding their feet to the fire will cause the editor and staff of the Messenger to try harder to improve their efforts to attain the professionalism they are certainly striving for. But as long as they continue the kind of coverage they gave us (presenting a soft, cushioned version of the sex offender institution), it is unlikely to occur anytime soon.

All of us who professionally use the mass media are the shapers of society. We can vulgarize that society. We can brutalize it. Or we can help lift it onto a higher level.
--William Bernbach, of DDB Needham Worldwide, 1989

It's all a sham: I have seen, and I know firsthand, indeed from my own pen, how the organized Right has sabotaged not only journalism but also democracy and truth.


David Brock

Messenger writer Diane Gibas STILL clings to the notion that a spade is red and cute and heart-shaped LOVE as she misleads the masses:

6/21/2008

Onamia, Nexus come to agreement

"After months of controversy, the new campus that will be built to house Nexus residents will also be a site where Onamia Public School will educate the students."

with translation:

After months of controversy, the new campus [correctional facility] that will be built to house Nexus residents [convicted sex offenders] will also be a site where Onamia Public School will educate the students. [Juveniles who have behavioral issues too severe to be mainstreamed.]

 

 

 

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