Saturday, July 26, 2008

Dunster dives

Immediately following publication of an opinion piece she wrote for the Greenwich Time, columnist Sarah Darer Littman (also a published author and known for her progressive blog "Saramerica") was dropped from the paper on Thursday for having written a column critical of candidate Lee Whitnum while previously holding a "meet-and-greet" for Jim Himes last year.

According to Sarah, a representative from the paper said that having criticized Whitnum while supporting Jim Himes' campaign "compromised the integrity of the paper". (h/t Thomas Hooker, from whose article on My Left Nutmeg I generously harvested a lot, so go read it in it's entirety)

The fact that someone from the paper used the words "integrity" and "the paper" in the same sentence when referring to the Time is ironic at best. Consider that Sarah Littman's contract with GT and Stamford Advocate (owned by the same corporation, Media News Group, along with the Danbury News-Times and the Connecticut Post among others posted below) makes no mention of a prohibition against making political contributions, or holding a "meet-and-greet", nor did any member of the papers' managements ever stipulate that she could not.

In short, it appears that this was seized upon by the paper's right-wing management to get rid of her. Publisher John Dunster, 79, when responding to a complaint about Littman's liberal slant at a publicly broadcast event recently admitted that he was personally "on the conservative side of the spectrum", and said that he was going to make changes in the editorial page.

And considering that Littman was paid for OPINION and not REPORTING, there isn't much logic in firing her for expressing an opinion, unless the real reason is that it doesn't accurately reflect DUNSTER'S opinion.

Contrast that to the fact that political REPORTER Neil Vigdor's blatant soft reporting on Whitnum's wild statements is apparently in no way connected to his review printed in the front matter of Whitnum's novel "Hedge Fund Mistress" that, apparently (by way of a Lexis search), did not appear in the paper. Sarah certainly has disclosed her political support for Himes -- but Vigdor has never disclosed (to the public, at least) his relationship with Whitnum. (h/t MattW)

So, let's just be sure that we understand the Greenwich Time's editorial policies. If I'm seeing it correctly, it goes something like this:
An opinion columnist can be fired if he or she supports a candidate in any way, shape, or form, and then writes an opinion about the candidate's race.

A political reporter is allegedly allowed to hide his professional relationship with a candidate to whom he is obviously sympathetic and then he fails to report anything negative about that person, despite the huge public record of their outrageous statements.
Don't get me wrong on all of's NOT about Lee Whitnum at all.

It's all about the GT's dedicated efforts to reelect Chris Shays in the 4th CD this November.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

FYI - From Media Newsgroup Corp's website; Connecticut newspapers they own:

Connecticut Post (Bridgeport)
Darien News (Darien)
Fairfield Citizen (Fairfield)
Greenwich Citizen (Greenwich)
Greenwich Time (Greenwich)
New Canaan News-Review (New Canaan)
Norwalk Citizen-News (Norwalk)
The Advocate (Stamford)
The News-Times (Danbury)
Westport News (Westport)
New Milford Spectrum (New Milford)

Let's get real.

This is a corporation that controls a lot of the flow of information in the 4th Congressional District. We can't let them entirely control the political dialog for us.

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