Repeating her pattern of Parry puffery, Faribault Daily News' managing editor Jaci Smith pretends to cover the Waseca senator's continuing projectile twitterhea in Sen. Mike Parry's love/hate affair with Twitter:
Sen. Mike Parry's Tweets have been in the social media quite a bit lately. The Daily News compiled some of the commentary about his controversial, plain speak posts, using storify.com
Smith's story includes tweets Parry posted about a laid-off state employee on Saturday, July 9 that generated another controversy. Unfortunately, the article fails to include any information about why the two tweets (two of the three Parry tweets included in the piece) drew criticism.
Nor is any of the responses she cites about the July 9 tweets. Without fact checking or including social media critics who directly address the information in Parry tweets Smith selects for her article, the editor may leave her readers thinking that Parry's false statements about the laid-off employee are correct. This is sloppy work at best.
Let's looks at the piece. Smith cites four tweets, three of which are by Parry; the fourth a Minnpost article:
More recently, Sen. Parry has been posting his thoughts on the state government shutdown and drawing media attention -- again.
But by repeating his tweets without fact checking--and labeling them as "plain speak" while omitting tweets that do point out that Parry is bullshitting in his July 9 tweets--Smith grossly misleads her readers.
By not conducting any due diligence, Smith merely repeats the false information in the tweets she cites. She fails to tell her readers that Parry's tweets about the gardener are not true.
And the Minnpost piece isn't about those tweets.
It gets worse. While the article includes both of Parry's tweets from July 9 about the laid-off staffer--whom Parry's tweets suggest is still working--none of the critical tweets included in the FDN piece are from Saturday or are about Parry's Saturday tweets. Check out the dates of the tweets included:
Predictably, the senator has his share of supporters and detractors on the Internet.
Instead, all of these critical tweets are in response to that July 12 Minnpost puff piece about Parry by Doug Grow. Not that the FDN reader would know this--since this is another vital piece of information Smith leaves out in the list of "responses," even though the Minnpost article had the only "media attention" Smith brings up.
Instead, she represents a retweet of the Grow headline as a that of a supporter. However, the accompanying URL doesn't go to Minnpost--so once again, FDN readers who don't already know this won't learn otherwise.
But perhaps she's riht to put the Grow piece in the "supporter" category.
Grow's piece isn't about any of the Parry tweets included in the FDN article. It's about Doug Grow's own passion for Parry after interviewing him following an agist tweet about Mondale and Carlson and tweets about Dayton resigning. The latter were made only after the Waseca senator first brought up the notion of Dayton's resignation to the traditional press.
And after that media veteran bonding experience, Grow too lost out on providing any context for Parry, as Bluestem noted in Emo senator Mike Parry pats self on back for compassion, reveals another income source. Grow portrayed Parry as a beleagued small business owner, but missed that fact that Parry had whined to MPR just a month before about needing a higher state salary because he only had one source of income: that senator check.
If this were a larger media market, Smith's fake objectivity (and Grow's laziness) would be worthy of comment by media critic Jay Rosen.
What's the problem with the gardener tweets? Bluestem first posted about Parry's tweets on Saturday in Emo tweeting senator Mike Parry can see Governor's mansion lawn from Waseca:
Bluestem wonders what's more remarkable: for Mike to be able to see the governor's lawn from Waseca, on Highway 14, deep in the heart of Minnesota's First Congressional District (not unlike Sarah Palin's ability to see Russia from her house in Alaska).
Or for Parry to brag that his lawn looks better than the lawn he imagines he sees on St. Paul's Summit Avenue. Three facts underscore how remarkable his lack of couth really is.
First, there's that little matter of the gardener. Bluestem checked, and there's no gardener deemed an "essential service" in the list of "essential" staff published by Politics in Minnesota.
Contacted via email about the gardener's employment status during the shutdown, a source in the Governor's Office wrote that "Gardener is laid off, not working and not getting paid." Perhaps that might explain why the lawn looks the way it does.
Bluestem's tweet of the post was circulated on July 9 by tweeps calling Parry on his bullshit.
By omitting any component of the controversy and fact checking generated by the Parry tweets she herself includes in the story, Smith paints Parry as a controversial, "plain spoke" leader beseiged by critics on social media. It's a classic Republican Victim narrative, aided and abetted under the guise of news.
In the interest of a better informed readership for the Daily's News audience, Bluestem is fixing the paper's headline: "The Faribault Daily News managing editor's love affair with Mike Parry."
The larger question remains: why is this piece in the Faribault Daily News? Pro-Republican bias? Sheer incompetence on the part of Jaci Smith? Both? You be the judge.