Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Greensboro Mayoral Campaign Blackball Links To Mayor

Back in September Ian McDowell of Yes-Weekly contacted me wanting to do a story about me as I am running for Mayor of Greensboro as a write-in candidate.

 Eager to get some long awaited press I jumped at the chance but the story never ran despite having spent a couple of hours with Ian at the People's Perk as arranged.

Now to be fair, Charles Womack, owner of Yes-Weekly, did post one of my e-mails to the Yes-Weekly Blog.

Later Thessa Pickett, who is running a write-in campaign in District 2, and I, both met with Yes-Weekly News Editor Katie Murawski at the Downtown Greensboro Public Library to do another story. I mentioned to Ms Murawski that Mr McDowell had interviewed with me earlier and she indicated she knew nothing about it.

Ms Pickett and I met with Ms Murawski for well over an hour but nothing ever appeared on the pages of Yes-Weekly.

Nor did anything appear on the pages of the News & Record. Even though the News & Record reported of write-in candidates in Rockingham County the N & R purposely failed to report on the campaigns of Ms Pickett and myself.

And it's not like Margaret Moffett and the rest of the local media didn't know because not only did all of them receive the same e-mail that Yes-Weekly Editor Charles Womack published to the Yes-Weekly blog but I emailed Margaret Moffett, Brian Clarey of Triad City Beat and others to inform them that Mr Womack had published my e-mail.

Here's the same e-mail without the recipients dropped down:

Let's not forget, Brian Clarey's, Triad City Beat is the local that managed to push stories about Greensboro Police Corruption all the way into the New York Times. Do you reckon stories of their own media corruption might ever make national headlines?

Nor was that the first time I contacted News & Record local political reporter Margaret Moffett.

And there's more...

Letters to the editor supporting various candidates were published throughout the campaign. Were any letters to the Editor ever submitted on behalf of myself or Ms Pickett? I guess we'll never know.

Now you can write off coverage for any perverted reason you can dream up but the fact remains the write-in campaigns of Thessa Pickett and myself have been blackballed by your local media in a deliberate attempt to keep the voters of Greensboro from knowing other options exist.

Now, what other secrets are they keeping from you? And why?

And finally, after a brief chance meeting today with Greensboro City Attorney, Thomas Carruthers, who I always enjoy speaking with, because in person and off the record he is always honest, forthcoming and has roots in East Greensboro (And I really do mean that) I traveled all about East Greensboro looking for copies of Yes-Weekly and Triad City Beat. Not only did I find neither but I found none of their boxes here on the east side of town. Could it be that neither care about East Greensboro?

And folks, Revolution Mill to East Greensboro is like Florida being a Southern state.

7:33 Pm Yes-Weekly has since published Putting parties aside and writing the right one in

Update 2: 7; 46 Pm A conversation with Yes-Weekly publisher Charles Alexander Womack on my Facebook page.

Update 3: Later that same night, same conversation, Yes-Weekly publisher Charles Alexander Womack commits suicide-- in a literary sense:

I rest my case, mistakes or not, I was forced to muscle our campaigns into the local online media and never got a word in the local print media.

And people wonder why voter turn-out is so low (8-11%) for Greensboro Municipal Elections.
Now a little bit about Charles Alexander Womack. Charles Alexander Womack III is a board member of the Womack Foundation, owns Womack Publishing which publishes Yes-Weekly in Greensboro, Creative Loafing in Charlotte, the Montgomery Hearld,  the Caswell Messenger, Star-Tribune as well as newspapers in Smith Mountain Lake and Lake Norman.

Mr Womack also owns Star-Tribune, Altavista Journal, Times-Virginian in Appomattox, The Union-Star in Brookneal, Smith Mountain Eagle, South Hill Enterprise, Independent Messenger in Emporia, Brunswick Times-Gazette in Lawrenceville, and The News Progress in Chase City.

Let's not forget the Jamestown News in Jamestown, NC.

According to the Womack Publishing website (which lists a few newspapers I left out and possibly some corrections I should have made) they are headquartered in Chatham, Virginia and also publish Telephone books, specialty publications, discover guides, magazines, and own internet based businesses.

The Greensboro News & Record is owned by BH Media Group, a subsidiary of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has no offices in Greensboro and no local commitments having recently placed their downtown Greensboro properties for sale.

With no Greensboro offices it is quite clear  Berkshire Hathaway Inc has no long term commitment to our community. The only reason I can see for Berkshire Hathaway-- a real estate company-- to own newspaper companies is to have access to cheap advertising subsidized by their competitors. And for those who paid attention: Berkshire Hathaway Real Estate had no Greensboro offices until BH Media Group bought the News & Record.

There was a time when such businesses practices were illegal in this country.

And finally there is Triad City Beat. Brian Clarey, Jordan Green, and Eric Ginsburg all used to work for Charles Womack at Yes-Weekly until the 3 of them decided to start their own publication. Rumors abound as to what happened, the 3 of them did attempt a disinformation campaign directed at Mr Womack through one of his properties, Ziggy's in Winston-Salem and Mr Womack retaliated by suing Mr Clarey for the thousands he'd loaned Clarey when the HVAC unit in Clarey's house had to be replaced and Clarey was penniless to fix it.

Now here is something you are going to find interesting. Triad City Beat is owned by Beat Media whose officers are Brian Clarey, Jordan Green, and Eric Ginsburg. No surprise there, right? But of all the attorneys in Greensboro, North Carolina they chose none other than retired State Senator Donald R Vaughan, husband of Greensboro Mayor Nancy Barakat Vaughan, to handle the incorporation of their company.

 Circumstantial? Perhaps. But in dozens of investigations upon the pages here at the trail always leads back to Donald and Nancy Vaughan.


And then there's the thing about credibility. Is it possible to be a credible reporter when the very existence of your publication depends on how you present the subjects of your stories. Brian, Jordan and Eric aren't only Editor and reporters, they own the paper. They've written stories about how hard they struggled just to survive. They pander for donations.

How can you be credible when your next meal is determined by your next story?

Amazingly, while TCB has repeatedly covered the stories of homelessness, civil rights abuses, crime, Black Lives Matter, our failing neighborhoods, the fact that we lead the nation in poverty, unemployment, and every other problem we face, Clarey, Green and Ginsburg have since their days at Yes-Weekly, failed to report on the person with ideas that just might turn things around.

Only while Jeff Sykes was editor at Yes-Weekly did we have real journalism in Greensboro and currently Jeff is unemployed, perhaps blackballed himself.

And I find it very hard to believe our media isn't doing so deliberately.

If you own or manage a news outlet and would like a top notch, unbiased editor or investigative journalist, send an e-mail to and I'll forward your message to Jeff-- the last reporter in Greensboro who couldn't be bought and sold.