By Scott Tibbs, September 13, 2005
The Herald-Times finally printed the letter to the editor I sent to them on August 22. I did not expect the newspaper to print it before September 1, because I had a letter printed August 1. However, I sent it in plenty of time for publication earlier in the month.
Why was it delayed, you ask? I learned late last week that H-T editor Bob Zaltsberg was "holding" it for more documentation. The interesting thing about this is that I had called Zaltsberg a couple times earlier that week and left messages on his voice mail saying I am able to provide documentation for the claims made in my letter if that is why I had not heard anything about it. Zaltsberg did not return my calls; he informed me why he was holding my letter only when I managed to catch him in his office when I called later.
Of course, I had mailed a printed copy of my initial blog post on the issue to the Herald-Times two weeks earlier, encouraging them to cover the story. That post contained the verification I would later provide Zaltsberg.
If the H-T truly only wanted to verify the facts, could a simple phone call or e-mail been used to ask me to provide documentation? Did they lose the ConservaTibbs.com article I sent them, as they "lost" my letter when I sent it the first time?
When my letter was finally printed, it had been edited. The newspaper removed my statement about Don Moore's inexcusable behavior toward Margaret Fette being worse than Lucille Bertuccio's outburst during a 2001 County Council meeting.
It seems the H-T has a lot higher standard for claims made by the Left against conservatives than for charges made the other way around. A few examples:
- The H-T ran a LTTE with a completely unsubstantiated and false chargethat Church of the Good Shepherd is "benefiting from the largesse" of local government.
- The H-T ran charges made by Mark Stoops against Jeff Ellington in a banner headline while burying Ellington's response deep in the story.
- The H-T ran a banner headline with a nasty personal attack on Jeff Ellington while burying information proving the attacks were false.
- The H-T published Charges made by Kevin Enright against Vic Farkas with no attempt to discover the actual facts of the story.
- The H-T published a Letter to the Editor in which Dennis Reardon tried to lead H-T readers to believe that I ghost-wrote a letter to the editor by someone else, a charge that was completely false and for which there was no documentation.
Let's not forget that the H-T published an editorial by Mike Leonard distorting John Hostettler's voting record in a partisan attack on Mike Sodrel.
As I expected, Democrats are going ballistic over my letter to the editor on a local message board. They keep repeating the mantra that my LTTE (in addition to my posts here) was "hearsay". What is amusing about all this screeching is that my information came directly from the person on the other end of Moore's outburst, plus testimony from someone who witnessed the event. Moore himself admits confronting Fette and wagging his finger in her face.
It is also interesting to see the venom directed at Fette. I understand why they would be upset with me after my LTTE, but why the continued attacks (including some terribly vicious personal attacks on her? She is the chair of a political party that has virtually no chance of winning an election in the near future. While the Libertarian candidates made a respectable showings (for a third party) in consecutive one-on-one contests against the Democratic candidate in State Representative District 61, they were nowhere near actually winning the race. Libertarians have no power in local government, so why are local Democrats directing so much negative energy at Fette?
I suspect the answer is they know Moore's behavior will harm them in the 2006 elections and they are lashing out in a panic. Democrats could take the wind out of Republican criticisms by denouncing Don Moore and making it clear that such behavior is unacceptable in local politics. Moore himself could have softened the damage he did to himself and his party by being a man and apologizing for his behavior. Now, both gestures would be seen as cynical and insincere.