WILSON’S LOCAL PRINT AND DIGITAL COMMUNITY INSTITUTION SINCE 1896

Swipe at press harms public’s right to know

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Re: “Petty and vindictive to move legislative press corps into basement,” guest editorial by the News & Record of Greensboro, Tuesday:

I appreciate you publishing the guest editorial from Greensboro. Opinions are not news. Normally. But in this case, the opinions describing the conditions forced upon the Fourth Estate by the GOP majority in Raleigh was something of which I was unaware.

Political parties do themselves no favor by alienating the public’s right to know what their representatives are up to. Emboldened by a very polarizing leader who denigrates the free press as Fake News, it’s little wonder.

But the Fourth Estate is the voice of the people. It is beholden to the public and to the public only. Politicians who set themselves above the news media set themselves above the public they supposedly represent. All too often, the only people they represent are the corporate “personages” that fund their campaigns and by extension, the representatives themselves.

Once the corporate sponsors know who can and will be bought, they move in and solidify the relationship. The job of the Fourth Estate is to notify the constituents when this happens. When special interest — read: corporate interest — groups exert undue influence over your legislator, you are the one being shafted.

By no means do I confine this criticism to the GOP. The DNC has proven its willingness to be corrupted in the past. Many more voters are aware of this now. That’s one reason third parties are being discussed more and more frequently.

Party politics and their negative ad blitzes demonizing opponents — depicting them as scum and seeking to scare the beans out of any voter undecided and unable to see through the smoke screen — has worked in the past.

Maybe it will continue to be successful. But revenge politics ignores the best interests of the American public. They’ll never fix the talking points like education, health care and infrastructure. They need them too much.

Dave Hager

Wilson

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