Brainerd Dispatch reporter Matt Erickson is the son-in-law of Brainerd's Finance Director Theresa Goble and has a conflict of interest reporting city business.
On Jan. 5 concerns were presented to the city council related to a math error by Finance Director Goble in the 2009 budget.
Also provided: an eight-year history of Erickson's budget reporting showing how revenues and expenditures were reported every year with the exception of the 2009 budget containing errors.
(One can only guess as to why Erickson reported only the expenditures - and not the revenues showing Ms. Goble's adding mistake.)
Renee Richardson reported on the Jan. 5, 2009 presentation to the council failing to include any mention of the conflicting interest between Dispatch reporter Erickson and Ms. Goble.
The phrase conflict of interest was stated twice but never reported.
Richardson did report: Czeczok also said the Brainerd Dispatch provided poor reporting on the subject.
This sentence Richardson reported however true is not accurate. What was said was: There is biased reporting and untrustworthy journalism in this city.
When essential content to a specific issue is omitted from a story it dramatically changes what is conveyed to the reader and this happened intentionally.
The method in which Richardson connected the poor reporting sentence to the issue of the incorrect budget prevented readers from learning the true nature of concern or conflict of interest.
Basic journalism includes the who, what, when, why, where and how; this rule wasn't observed.
After inquiring why key elements of concern were omitted from the Richardson story, the same old mantra was provided by the Dispatch publisher: You are always welcome to submit an Open Forum if you disagree with the Dispatch.
If professional journalism had been observed to begin with, it wouldn't have been necessary to submit this open forum.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Erickson, public affairs reporter, and Richardson, senior reporter, are two of the Dispatch's most experienced and valued reporters. On specific occasions, when Goble was the focus of a news story, Erickson has been replaced by another reporter. Czeczok has made repeated complaints of biased reporting on the part of the Dispatch. He was given the opportunity to air those complaints in today's Open Forum section.
Worshipping party unity
I have some questions for the Republicans in Congress: Is your opposition to Mr. Obama's stimulus plan based on partisanship or do you really think it's too expensive? If you are really that fiscally responsible where were you a half dozen years ago when you controlled Congress and Bush was bankrupting the nation?
Our Republican party has shot itself in the foot by worshipping at the altar of party unity. Thus we find it expedient to anoint our presidential nominee one-third of the way through the primary season. We have in St. Paul a House minority leader who punishes members of his caucus for representing their districts rather than taking orders from him. And we had a Republican Congress that chose to rubber stamp Mr. Bush's agenda just because he called himself a Republican. Along the way, that Congress reneged on its constitutional responsibility to rescue that president from his own ineptitude and it plunged itself into minority status.
Tomorrow's foreign policy
When one looks at the present human mindset, against the economic, diplomatic, human overpopulation, and ecological conditions of today and their projections, it does look bleak.
Though I admit to the fact that there is no mean (as in the middle) mindset, there is over the world those most proclaimed. They are as follows, Ideology-ethnicity, then nationalism, which often ties into the first. The mindset involved in these above is one of, us and them, or friends and enemies.
When one looks at the economic, population, and ecologic challenges of humanity, any division of people immediately becomes an obstacle. And, any time the obstacles become the central focus, then the real needs or challenges for humanity become obscured to the point of non-importance. And that is a mental blindness that is deadly, And, because of the procreative nature of life and the interaction of nature, becomes more so in geometric proportions.
So it is that in man's politics, until they, man, escape the world, the primacy of thought should consider all challenges in the following order.
2. Humanity - individuals in totality.
4. Other - national, ethnic, ideology, and me - (the individual).
It is in the above order, that the most tested data should be strongly considered, and in each instance before moving down to the next important consideration. Over the history of man, to often, the last of the considerations have been proclaimed as the primary in the order of consideration, as well as that on which the more important challenges to man shall be even considered.
The hope of today rests on the above order.
I want to have hope.
Dennis G. Gordon
They could have done better
Well, what do you know, Michelle Bachmann is blowing her horn again! She's complaining about President Obamas' stimulus bill costing too much! I never heard one word from the Kisser's mouth about the unwanted trillion dollar Bush war! She's a great one for making noise and saying nothing! It's ironic that the same people that ruined our economy are skeptical of fixing it. And Bachmann is one of them! I'm sure for the salary of $175,000 the voters of her area could have done much better!
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