Our View

Our View

Gazette looking for smoke and mirrors where there are none

The newspaper headline above the fold read: “Casino families key donors for Hutchinson”. The majority of the front page story focused primarily on the Jacobs family and executives associated with Southland Park Gaming and Racing in West Memphis, and them being the largest donors so far to Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s re-election campaign.

The biased story published in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette went on to point out that Southland Park’s Jacobs family and Oaklawn’s Cella family, plus executives and spouses, have contributed at least $113,825, according to campaign finance disclosure records filed with the Arkansas secretary of state.

It went on to say the Jacobs family of New York, Massachusetts and Florida has donated at least $59,325; the Cellas, of Missouri, $54,500.

The question that comes to mind is, “So what?” And furthermore, just exactly what is the point of this supposed “unbiased” publication attempting to make?

Are we supposed to be led to believe that Hutchinson is being bought and paid for by these families of (God forbid) gambling operations?

Come on folks, we know exactly what is being played out here and it once again demonstrates pathetic liberal journalistic policies this newspaper attempts to disguise.

We find it absolutely amusing that on the second page of this newspaper claiming to be “Arkansas’ newspaper’ there is this “Statement of core values” which begins with a quote from Adolph Och, 1858-1935 which is, “To give the news impartially, without fear or favor.” The statement goes on to explain to us that impartially means reporting, editing, and delivering the news honestly, fairly, objectively, and without personal opinion or bias.

Now, just exactly how simple minded do these holierthan- thou custodians of the Fifth Estate actually think we are when they clearly use their publication in this instance to give the impression the owners of Southland and Oaklawn are buying off their candidate of choice, which in this case is Gov. Hutchinson.

When the reporter asked about the size of the campaign contributions from the two gaming and racing interests Hutchinson spokesman Jamie Barker made a point that “less than five percent” of total contributions “from individuals who play an important role in our tourism economy is nothing out of the ordinary.”

Furthermore, and as good ol’ Hillary Clinton once said, “What difference does it make?”

Barker also made it clear to this publication the governor markets Arkansas tourism every day and Crittenden County and Hot Springs are directly responsible for attracting tens of thousands of visitors from outside Arkansas for years.

To accentuate the insinuation that Hutchinson may in some way be tied to the hip to Southland and Oaklawn owners this reporter wasted considerable space on Southland and Oaklawn joining another group’s effort to place a constitutional amendment before Arkansas voters that would legalize stand-alone casinos in four places in the state.

What’s the game playing going on here? The answer to that is very simply explained. It is very obvious that this newspaper is very biased, shows that it is totally against such tourist related industries such as Southland and Oaklawn and is making every effort to lead us to believe this governor is very friendly with the Jacobs and Cella families. For all we know Hutchinson may not have ever met these people casually or otherwise.

It is this kind of so-called journalism that has seriously tarnished the news media, particularly the broadcast media, and for the management of this newspaper to print such a biased and slanted supposed news story on the front page while claiming to be impartial, honest, fair, objective and without personal opinion or bias is absolutely disgusting.