Our correspondents in Pittsford have sent a lot of information about their village election, and we picked up some pertinent data when fellow blogger Lucy and I attended the candidates' debate last week. Here's what we've learned:
What began as an amusing oddity seems now like a bigger deal.
We've written about the Pittsford Mayor who paved the way for a big development in his town, then at the eleventh hour voted against it, then changed his mind and voted for it, and now says he opposed it all along.
In covering this election, the Democrat and Chronicle has made no mention of Mayor Robert Corby's history of supporting the project over several years, or of his final vote to grant permits that allowed shovels into the ground, from which the Mayor's been backpedaling furiously ever since.
At first it looked like an oversight, but in subsequent D&C stories and in a post by the D&C's Pittsford blogger it's become clear that the newspaper is deliberately suppressing the story and seeking to mislead voters. We've learned why.
When Corby's own party wrote him off, he got the Democratic nomination. For running mates for the Trustee seats, he turned to Lili Lanphear, who herself voted for the controversial development in a Planning and Zoning Board meeting last year.
For the other Trustee slot Corby turned to perennial candidate Stacey Freed. A relentless self-promoter, Freed has run for Pittsford Trustee three times before and lost every time. Always, previously, on slates opposing Mayor Corby or his candidates for trustee. But when opportunism knocks . . .
What the Democrat and Chronicle has covered up in every one of its stories on this election is that candidate Freed writes for the Democrat and Chronicle, specifically, for its Rochester Magazine, whose publisher and editor are the publisher and editor of the D&C.
Oh, and the D&C's Pittsford blogger, Donna De Palma, who posted an open advocacy piece for the eccentric Mayor and his slate? BFF with -- guess who? -- candidate and fellow D&C writer Stacey Freed. No disclosure there, either. Apart from this obvious conflict of interest by its blogger, the D&C's failure to give equal time -- or any time at all -- for the Democrats' opponents is risible even by the shabby standards of the D&C.
It's more than shabby. Suppressing facts unfavorable to the Democratic candidate for Mayor. Concealing the identity of a Democratic candidate as one of its own writers. Denying Republican candidates the same opportunity to tell their story that the paper lavishly confers on the Democratic candidates. Much more than shabby. It's unethical.
The Democrat and Chronicle, its editor Karen Magnuson and publisher Michael Kane, aren't even pretending anymore. Just keeping their advocacy all in the Democratic family. To quote Instapundit, these aren't journalists; they're Democratic operatives with bylines.