a citizen’s journal by Thomas Nephew

I’d better see a doctor — I hallucinated a debate

Posted by Thomas Nephew on October 10th, 2008

— and three candidates, for that matter.

In a profile of Republican Congressional candidate Steve Hudson, one C. Benjamin Ford of the Montgomery County Gazette informs his readers:

Van Hollen said he knew little of Hudson’s background, but that he had an impressive record of service. The two were scheduled to debate, but it was canceled by the congressional action on the economic crisis.

(Emphases added.) Thing is, I’m positive I saw that debate a week ago at the Rockville Public Library! Van Hollen couldn’t make it because of the House vote on the bailout bill, but Van Hollen’s legislative director was there — he even said “responsible, responsive, and properly prioritized,” which almost made me swoon and just isn’t something I could make up.   Hudson was there!  Write-in candidate Deborah Vollmer was there!  Looking back, I’ll grant there was a certain hallucinatory quality to Lih Young’s remarks, but everything else made sense!

Especially Green Party candidate Gordon Clark, who made a solid, persuasive impression as the Green Party candidate for Congress in Maryland’s 8th Congressional district.  Seriously, you can watch the debate online here; if you’d like to cut to the chase of any particular participant’s remarks, you can use this time chart and the slider on the video.

I’m informed that Mr. Ford will interview Gordon Clark for a coming issue of the Gazette.  That’s great — well, actually it’s the least the Gazette could do; they really ought to promise to put Clark on page 1.

But someone ought to interview Mr. Ford and his editors as well: what does it say about their reporting and standards that he’d claim (a) there were just two candidates for Congress in Maryland’s 8th District, and (b) that a debate hosted by the League of Women Voters, attended by close to a hundred people, and broadcast on TV and the Internet was “canceled”?  Are they lazy, incurious, easily misled, in the tank, or all of the above?  Hell, I found out about the debate all by myself, ran to catch two trains to make it there after work, and wrote it up within a day.  Can’t an actual newspaper and journalist be bothered to try to follow a story about a congressional election campaign in their own back yard — and try to get it right?

2 Responses to “I’d better see a doctor — I hallucinated a debate”

  1. Justin Gist Preuninger Says:

    Hey, I saw the debate on both television and CCAN’s online coverage… it did happen and I heard back directly from at least one of the candidates on his experience in the debate.

    The Gazette lost credibility a long time ago… this is just another example of its alliance with our elected officials against any challenge or accountability. We need real choice and information unless we just prefer to have sham elections and rubber stamp everything…

  2. Thomas Nephew Says:

    Yeah, this was unbelievable. Some folks seem to just phone it in around here.

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