As a child, I was always taught that there was more than one side to a story. According to Progress NC, which has been promoting a meme on Facebook (pictured on left) based off an article from a Charlotte Observer editorial, you would think there was only one side to a committee meeting about Senate Bill 287 and an exchange between a newspaper industry lobbyist and a senator which occurred after the meeting.
I was saddened to see that even some conservatives were not checking out both sides of the story before sharing it on Facebook. Apparently they were not aware that Progress NC is an affiliate of Blueprint NC. Remember Blueprint, the group that seeks to destroy the reputation of all the conservative leadership and has many news media outlets promoting their agenda?
What is the rest of the story? According to The Times News an email was sent by the NC Press Association to its members where Senator Tucker was quoted as having allegedly made this statement to Hal Tanner, president of the NC Press Association “I am the senator. You are the citizen. You need to be quiet.” Senator Tucker disputes this quote: “I said something to the effect that, ‘I’m the senator here, let me finish,’ ” he said. “I just took offense to it because he impugned our integrity. And I took it personally.”
At this point I have to stop and try to discern what the purpose was of sending out an email to all the NC Press Association members with this quote. Was it in any way tied to a recent member alert On the NC Press.com website to defeat SB 287 in the Senate? Certainly there is a financial interest for the newspapers who are opposing SB 287. John Bassion, a lobbyist and legal counsel for NC Press Association says “It’s obvious … that the Senate leadership is targeting the newspaper industry to inflict financial damage on the industry and the public’s right to know.” On the other hand, supporters of the bill say it saves cities and counties money. Senator Tucker says “it gives local governments the choice of placing notices in newspapers or online.”
How did a rather straightforward bill stir up so much angst against one NC senator ? No matter if you agree with the bill or not, I think it is clear that there is an obvious agenda behind those who seek to undermine the reputation of a senator by accusing him of being arrogant and not caring about the transparency of government simply on the basis of a quote that was circulated through email by the NC Press Association, especially when this association is also lobbying heavily against the bill.
Progress NC, which quickly picked up this story and started promoting it clearly has an even bigger agenda. So much so that the GOP is currently suing them. Determining what interest Progress NC has in this story requires no more than reading the quote from Micah Beasley, NC Democratic Party Spokesman, in this Huffington Post article: “Tucker’s arrogance is typical of the Senate led by Phil Berger, and the Republican majorities of the General Assembly. This exchange is part of a long list of instances where Republican state leaders have sought to silence public opposition,” Beasley told The Huffington Post in an email. “While North Carolina families are focused on jobs, the Republican General Assembly is focused on getting more power for themselves and using it to pass extreme legislation that the public doesn’t want.”
I know we all want to hold our elected officials accountable. So do I! But we need to base everything we do on researching and verifying the facts from more than one source. Please be aware as you read news stories that not all news stories are “real” news. Above all else, make sure you know the source of the news and the underlying agenda that drives them, because quite often there is one. This is the only way we can defeat propaganda machines like Blueprint NC!
By: Donna Mauney
Donna is a homeschooling mother of eight children, 5 biological and 3 adopted. She became involved in politics when she started homeschooling, in order to protect her rights as a parent and freedom to homeschool. Since then she has been active in several campaigns on a grassroots level.
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