Monday, January 5, 2015

My Letter To The Editor A Flat Out Lie

On Friday, January 2, 2014, I submitted the following letter to the editor of the Greensboro News & Record. Minutes later I got a call saying they'd like to publish my letter. They published it using the title,  No one commutes to Greensboro for work:

" In response to the McClatchy Regional News article posted in the News & Record on Friday, January 2, 2015, 3 park-and-ride lots open in Brunswick County.

Ever notice there are no Park and Ride lots as you approach Greensboro? Ever wondered why? The answer: There aren't enough jobs in Greensboro to need them.

When will our City Council and economic development gurus take their jobs seriously"

The LTE I wrote was a was a flat out lie. All one needs to do to prove it to be a lie is take a quick look at the website for the Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation which shows Park and Ride facilities existing all over the Piedmont Triad. But did the News & Record fact check? No, they simply allowed a lie to be spread.

 The N&R is caught in the act. Oh, by the way, someone from the N&R wrote the title in an effort to make the lie even bigger.

Letters to the editor are opinion. But when the opinion of one person is published to the masses that same opinion can and often does become a tool for propaganda. Propaganda is defined as:

information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.
"he was charged with distributing enemy propaganda"
synonyms:information, promotion, advertising, publicity, spin;"

You think a News & Record LTE as mine has no effect? How many people read that and never travel to those cities where the park and ride facilities exist? I'd venture to guess a lot.

In this case the lie was there are no park and rides. The point of view was there aren't enough jobs in Greensboro to need them. That may or may not be a lie as well, I haven't proof one way or the other.

Opinion based purely on your religious or political leanings? Yes, that annoys me but those subjects are purely opinion unless you cross the lines into generalizations or numbers. Had I written 'I believe there are no park and rides' that might have been acceptable too. But to accept what I wrote as if it is truth and publish it even as a letter to the editor crosses the line into propaganda and sensationalism proving the editorial department of the News & Record has no interest in quality journalism.

As further proof I give you last night's Facebook post:

It would have taken someone from the News & Record all of 1 minute or less to vet the entire contents of my LTE and prove it a lie. Knowing that can we believe anything printed in the News & Record? Anything.

Update: 1:30 PM Doug Clark, one of the Editors of the News & Record, tries to explain it all away in the comments but his admissions only bury the N&R even farther: