Bloomington’s Pantagraph should shutter its doors

Bloomington, IL. (ECWd) –  http://edgarcountywatchdogs.com/2015/06/bloomingtons-pantagraph-should-shutter-its-doors/

The Pantagraph newspaper is doing the citizens of Bloomington, IL. a disservice by advocating for the City of Bloomington to violate the free speech rights of everyone that attends a city council meeting (read how they betray the trust of their readership here).

Newspapers have a fundamental responsibility to the public they serve, to shine the light on government – NOT to advocate that a government limit the speech rights of citizens.

This is a shining example of all that is wrong with main stream media and local newspapers today. They have become the puppets of their puppet-master advertisers, and the subjects of their public officials.

The Pantagraph has equated the statutory right of public comment at public meetings with the choices it makes as a newspaper in printing letters to the editor. There is no comparison, the first is a RIGHT, and the second is at the discretion of the paper.

Then they say the city is “doing its job” if it puts limits on public comment. When the reality is that the city is violating the rights of the public with the rules it has proposed to adopt. Rules must enhance the public’s ability to address the board, but apparently the Pantagraph must think people should by forcibly silenced.

Next they talk about the City of Normal and County of McLean’s rules – conveniently forgetting to mention that those rules violate the Open Meetings Act and cannot survive a legal challenge. Pantagraph even goes so far as urging the City of Bloomington to adopt the most restrictive set of rules we have ever seen. This action would only invite litigation and I predict the city would lose, needlessly costing the taxpayers more money.

Finally, they claim the city has important business to discuss and shouldn’t have to waste its time messing with trivial issues like public comment citing “ample” opportunities to contact their elected officers. The Pantagraph must have forgotten that the Illinois Legislature has stated public comment during public meetings is a RIGHT – and violations of that right can subject public officials to arrest, criminal charges, fines, and imprisonment. No other opportunity to address public officials is a right – except for public comment at meetings.

One thing I have noticed after several years of investigative reporting, is that when public bodies start changing rules, especially rules for public comment, to further restrict the public’s ability to address and petition their government, there is something that public body is trying to hide – and it is only a matter of time before we find out what it is.

To the Pantagraph, I say shutter your doors now, you would do the citizen a better service to quit and go home, than to stab them in the back by publishing opinions like this one.

Media’s refusal to remain silent is the first line of defense against public corruption.

Bloominton-IL-Logo (WinCE)

7 thoughts on “Bloomington’s Pantagraph should shutter its doors

  1. Chapter 2 : Section 18.2 : Agenda Items and Voting.
    (a) Agenda Items. Items can be placed on a meeting agenda by: (i) the Mayor; (ii) the intended Chairperson of the meeting, in the absence of the Mayor; (iii) the City Manager or designee thereof; or (iv) by a majority of the City Council before the formulation of the agenda.

    It is apparent who placed the Public Comment Amendment on the agenda and why. That person is the one guilty of wasting the Council’s time. There is no need to amend the current ordinance unless it is to become less restrictive. The comments made are not related to any specific personal topic but rather to concerns that affect the entire city. Therefore, it is appropriate to bring those concerns to the entire City Council.

    I read the editorial and was appalled.

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  2. I agree with former democrat strategist Pat Caddell when he said “The media has become the enemy of the American People.”

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  3. Many of the Pantagraph’s “movers and shakers” are deeply imbedded in the culture of the BLM/NL Loony Left. They party with them, attend the same social functions, and have sexual relationships together. Their children go to the same preschools, ship off to the same Summer “Communist Camps”, date each other, and let’s not forget that sexual relationship thing. (It’s a really big deal to these folks–often highly “non traditional”.)
    The point is, the Bird Cage Liner “news” people are not independent. They are, for the most part, committed Leftists, very intent on advancing that agenda.

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  4. Given the growing reputation for poor quality writing and reporting, I can hardly believe anyone trying to gain a professional reputation would allow The Pantagraph to even print their name. Google “Lee Enterprises Sucks” Also check out the conglomerate that owns the glut of papers in the US Midwest, the seemingly superior Gatehouse Media, inc. I do enjoy the writing style of Gatehouse columnists.

    Look, The Pantagraph prints their rag w/a press in Peoria. I wonder what the rates are. Does anyone feel Haight Ashbury Journal w/me? Print, bind, press, drop. This. And more. Our tax dollars are funding at least one time full position for them to record their side of the story. Shouldn’t we be recording ours as well? In print and all forms that we may forsee as a file repository? Now, I don’t want to get on another subject, but can we talk about authenticity and file format, etc. for the future? OMG, what if the only “original’ is a file format that can be duplicated/altered and that’s what somebody does just to screw the world in some weird political game?

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