In a sudden and shocking move, the Lake Sun Leader has changed its online site. No longer is the news available for free online. Now, full access to Lake Sun content will cost you $10.99 a month. You can still comment freely on articles specifically chosen by the Lake Sun’s editorial staff and content manager, as they will choose what appears on their Facebook page, thus open to the public. Only those pieces they choose.
The timing of such a move is curious, to say the least. At a time when the Lake Sun’s own comment sections were alive with debate concerning local issues and matters of politics and current affairs, it makes the move to a pay-for-content site. This restricts access for many Camden County readers, many of whom are having difficult enough times making ends meet than to be asked to pay for information. Being an informed citizen, an informed voter, is at the heart of a democracy. It is our protection against corruption and the forces that would collude to keep us in the dark. Our local, rural media is the key to unlocking our view of the world. It is supposed to be based on truth, honor and dignity.
Our local paper is intended to inspire debate and discussion. Not division. Not exclusivity. The Lake Sun, with both their track record and under the cover of the bottom line, has made a move to restricting access and comment. With their history, it is not surprising. It serves as a book end to their history of distorting facts, misleading the public and publishing propaganda in support of the lunatic fringe views of the hard right. It fits a pattern of recent, overt behavior that can only be called disturbing.
Last fall, I began submitting letters to the editor of the paper. One of them, titled ‘Hartzler’s Folly’, was printed in the Lake Sun. It had to do with the arrest of a Missourian in her office for deciding to wait for a meeting with the Congresswoman. The Lake Sun ran a response from the office of Rep. Hartzler and a few letters critical of me and my submissions. They chose not to print my reply to Vigilant Vicky’s office, although it was sent within 24 hrs of her rebuttal seeing print.
I realized what we were up against at that point. It wouldn’t be about promoting views, no matter how well researched, how well written. Keith Broekemeier had the same experience, as his critical letters stopped seeing print as the August election drew near. He was frustrated.
He wasn’t alone.
I began working exclusively on the internet. I wrote about the Lake Sun and their parent company, Gatehouse Media. I wrote about the run to privatize Missouri’s education system. I wrote about the police state that has been formed around us, with the help of a silent media. I wrote about Anaheim. I wrote about a girl in St. Louis who was tazed in a shopping mall. I wrote about Cliff Luber, the Ayatollah. I wrote about Vigilant Vicky Hartzler.
I wrote about the Lake Sun’s unscrupulous behavior.
First reported here, on American Spring, the Lake Sun Leader was caught manufacturing support for then GOP Presidential candidate Rick Santorum in the lead up to a caucus process that was contentious, to put it mildly. They were caught misstating the amount of supporters at the fringe candidate’s rally, held in Osage Beach.
They left a trail in black and white.
When writing an online piece about Cliff Luber, when his candidacy for Camden County Commissioner was announced, I went through the Lake Sun opinion archives. I was in search of a letter the Ayatollah had written, in which he was calling for pastors to preach politics from the pulpit. I initially couldn’t find it. It had been removed from the archive. After making a bit of a ruckus, the letter re-appeared. I even thanked the paper for making it available in another installment of a series I did about religious extremism and the media’s role in perpetrating it in Missouri.
They removed the letter.
It was damaging to the Ayatollah.
While being critical of Vigilant Vicky Hartzler and her voting record, I experienced strange glitches on my phone that have led me to believe it is being monitored. I wrote about this here, and sent it for publication to the Lake Sun. I was told that it needed to be ‘toned down’ to run in the paper. That’s puzzling, as it was a discussion about the Big Brother systems of government. I would have thought freedom lovin’ folks would have an interest to hear about that kind of theft of our liberties. I was wrong, apparently.
They wouldn’t print the letter.
It needed to be ‘toned down’.
I was frustrated.
I wrote more.
The Lake Sun then ran the first of three articles promoting the idea of a ‘conspiracy theory’ of an anonymous ‘smear campaign’ against the Ayatollah. The theory was based on the reader’s ability to suspend disbelief. To take the Lake Sun’s version of events, we should imagine that the ‘smear campaign’ was mere invention. It was ‘Chicago-style politics’.
It was a police report.
Instead of reporting fact, the staff of the Lake Sun indulged in writing a bit of tawdry, sad fiction. They focused on casting Cliff Luber as a victim, instead of reporting the facts associated with the claims of ‘anonymous smear campaigns’. They then wrote a self-congratulating piece, applauding themselves and the virtuous Ayatollah on his glorious triumph. They followed that up later in the week, attempting to add an exclamation point to the end of their tale, with questions of ‘Who Done It?’. After all, the bigger the lie….
It was propaganda.
It was creative fiction, designed to confuse the existence and significance of a police report with Luber’s threats contained in its pages. I called for the Editor of the Lake Sun Leader, Joyce Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org) and reporter @Spreeness to resign. I said they were dangerous and engaged in deceit.
I did not expect that letter to see print. It didn’t even receive a reply calling for me to ‘tone it down’.
I decided to try again. “The Party Is Over”, which did run in the Lake Sun, was an appeal to all thinking men and women in the reach of the paper to understand that they are united against us. The politicians work for whomever writes the checks, not the rest of us. Those who write the checks intend to increase their profit margins and to hell with the rest of us. Both the RNC and DNC showed that democracy and its processes and procedures are meaningless to the corporate state. They both shrugged off the will of the people in servitude of another master entirely.
It is common ground for all of us.
Then, the Todd Akin piece ran. The LACC piece ran.
This is thanks, in no small part, to a clamor on the comment boards on the Lake Sun’s web site. The pressure generated by the simple act of commentary on our local media, frightens them. They understand they are holding someone else’s bag, pushing the propaganda of the lunatic fringe.
Dissent will not be tolerated. It will be silenced through any means necessary.
While the Lake Sun was transitioning their site this afternoon, an email made its way to my inbox. This email was regarding apparent censorship of certain comments on their articles. The people who were attempting to post were supporters of the Ayatollah’s competition. The Lake Sun dismissed the questions as being a ‘technical issue’, but when one considers their history, can that really be trusted?
The comments in question were from a political opponent of Luber’s, Don Barrett. After repeated inquiries, Mr. Barrett was ‘assured’ by Joyce Miller that it was only a glitch associated with the creation of the new pay for content site.
It would appear that the Lake Sun is instead making a rush to attempt to shut off commentary that doesn’t fit their narrative and restrict access to content at the editor’s discretion. Given Joyce’s predisposition, as documented in the pages of her paper, do we dare allow her to decide what is available for mass consumption?
The Lake Sun is attempting to silence dissent. They intend for the voice of rape, murder and hatred to win his seat. They intend to nip any sort of opposing opinions from their pages.
Their intent is obvious.
They will further shrink our scope of knowledge and awareness until only the lunatic fringe are interested. They will reduce our conversations to those of passion, not those of logic. These changes and obvious examples of malpractice illustrate clearly whose side the Lake Sun is on. It sides with the lunatic fringe.
Dissent will not be tolerated.
It will be choked out.
Ironically, a gentleman made the comment, in jest, that we should ‘occupy the lsl’ on the Lake Sun’s site, over the weekend, just before the change. It seems they have given us no choice.
Comments like that are EXACTLY what they are afraid of.
Who’s up for an occupation?