Saturday, March 11, 2006

An idea worth considering

Although the national media has focused on Virgil Goode’s involvement in the scandals involving MZM, Mitchell Wade, Duke Cunningham and, more recently, Katherine Harris, many of the local newspapers and city guides are following their partisan lines and downplaying both his role and the impact on the upcoming election in the 5th District. I have been reading Mar’s postings on this topic. I always enjoy the descriptive way he gets his irritation over their biased reporting across to his readers. : )

A link in a recent posting by Waldo about Virgil sent me to Wikipedia, where I followed another link to the word “blog.” [I’ve been enjoying this one so much that I wanted to learn more about them!] While reading through the history of this alternative media, I found a comment that was particularly interesting:

… In 2002, many blogs focused on comments by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott. Senator Lott, at a party honoring U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond, praised Senator Thurmond by suggesting that the United States would have been better off had Thurmond been elected president. Lott's critics saw these comments as a tacit approval of racial segregation, a policy advocated by Thurmond's 1948 presidential campaign. This view was reinforced by documents and recorded interviews dug up by bloggers. … Though Lott's comments were made at a public event attended by the media, no major media organizations reported on his controversial comments until after blogs broke the story. Blogging helped to create a political crisis that forced Lott to step down as majority leader…
It made me think. While 5th District bloggers may not be able to have an impact on Virgil stepping down from office, we CAN do some digging and keep putting the information out to local media in letters about his record, campaign contributions and perhaps even his spending patterns (check this site in response to the one sideblogged by Waldo). We can provide data to his opposition after the 5th District caucuses and convention in April for use during debates with Virgil and publicity pieces. We can show up at events and ask questions. And hopefully that will make people in this district begin to think about the paradox represented by this question:

Why would anyone with a net worth of $1.2 to $3.3 million dollars be driving around in a vehicle with 270,000 miles and duct tape and maintain a rickety office in Rocky Mount?
Is he trying to dupe the voters into thinking he’s just like them? Is he advertising hard times in order to fit in? Therefore, I feel we need to look into his background a little more closely. Where does he live and what does his house look like? Does he actually drive that old vehicle around in Washington—or just around the district? Where does his campaign spend funds and for what? We all have the means to do a little digging—and, if the local media won’t do it, then we have the right to let the truth be known.

We might actually be surprised at what we find. For example, I was intrigued to see in last Sunday’s Richmond Times-Dispatch an article (5 March 2006, starting on page A1) stating that Danville has the fifth-worst job market in the nation—behind New Orleans and Biloxi, victims of the last hurricane season. I was also unaware that, while 2,500 jobs had been created in the last two years, the net loss of jobs in the city is still 1700 (listed on page A13). Bringing jobs to the 5th District is what Virgil keeps talking about. Who knows, there might actually be an amendment to the bill he introduced in the House about the border fence between America and Mexico that requires 5th District voters to be given jobs on the project!


At 1:38 PM, Blogger mar said...

fantastic idea lisa -- our local media is a complete joke. if they aren't willing to do their job, it's up to us to bring his shady record more into the spotlight.

the issue is, bringing attention to what we find out -- we need to identify which local blogs would be interested in doing the research that would be required for this, and then find out how to really get the message out (maybe big community sites, like Kos?)

i was gone all weekend, but this springness in the air is giving me lots of energy to be proactive. let's see where this goes!

(thanks for the shout out! :)

At 1:50 PM, Blogger Dave said...

Or... you can give us good leads to follow. We have 17 counties to get news out of... we're sure to miss lots of stuff. You have proof or evidence... letsee it.

At 6:14 PM, Blogger mar said...

don't need it -- there are questions that are unanswered, it's THEIR job to come up with the evidence. it's my job to ask questions. i'm just some regular person, they're the ones who claim to be journalists.

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