Friday, August 26, 2005

Smearing Jeff Frederick

The Potomac News was always a rag, but it was less of one when it gave me 800-900 words once a week for more than seven years. At least then, as Rush Limbaugh likes to say, " I was 'equal time.'"

Well, as noted in this e-mail from the Jeff Frederick campaign, it appears that the Pot. News is back to its old "smear the GOP" tricks. Today, Keith Walker wrote a story claiming that "Although Delegate Jeffery M. Frederick, R-Woodbridge, didn't mention Hilda Barg's name on television Wednesday evening, everyone locally knew who he meant when he talked about a local supervisor connected to the day laborers," and that Frederick was misrepresenting the facts. I guess the only kind of Republicans it likes are those who would be more at home in the Democrat Party.

Anyway, here's the takedown from the Frederick campaign, giving chapter and verse on how the paper is attempting to give aid and comfort to Warner ... er, Democrat nominee Hilda Barg. First, there's the letter sent by Frederick campaign manager Ted Prill, and e-mailed to me a few minutes ago:


Your reporter/editors obviously are covering for Hilda Barg and permitting her to back track while seriously neglecting to point out facts that your own paper has reported. This is a serious and inexcusable breach of your journalistic responsibilities to offer fair and balanced stories with all the facts. Keith Walker's story in today's paper accurately states "$150,000 in taxpayer money" but then automatically infers that Delegate Frederick specified county money. He said "taxpayer money", which includes state, federal and/or local money. Keith Walker knowingly and intentionally omited relevant and important facts (not to mention your misleading and false headline that Connaughton is backing Barg's campaign). Knowingly and intentionally because we provided citations of news reports for Walker, and yet he chose to flat out ignore them. She has been on the record in YOUR paper saying:

"A $150,000 preliminary budget for the center includes funding for two full-time employees... Several task force members worried that county officials would balk at paying for the center... Supervisor Hilda M. Barg, D-Woodbridge, who helped form the task force, said some public funding was possible..."
- Potomac News
Wednesday, March 16, 2005

"Supervisor Hilda M. Barg (D-Woodbridge), is proposing that the county help cover the costs of a workforce center where laborers could wait for work."
- Washington Post
Saturday, March 26, 2005; Page B01

"[Barg] was not against having the task force ask supervisors to consider funding a workforce center."
- Potomac News
Tuesday, April 12, 2005

"Barg organized the task force... she is seeking state or federal money for the project."
- Potomac News
Sunday, May 8, 2005

I've never heard of a news organization that disregards and disqualifies their own reporting so willingly. Where is your credibility? Integrity?

Barg is completely entitled to change her mind, but you all need to state that, not present a misleading story leading the reader to believe what is clearly not the factual OR accurate. The facts, as reported by you, are that Barg advocated spending taxpayer money on this and you all have failed miserably to properly report that as she reverses her position. Your story should not have been about what Delegate Frederick said on CNN, but rather the about-face that Barg has made in light of public dissatisfaction with her job as supervisor.

Ted Prill
Campaign Manager
Re-Elect Jeff Frederick Delegate

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