Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Konstantin For Abilene Moral Guidepost / Eyesore Of The Year 2008-2009

Moral guidepost of the year award 2008-2009

In this information age, it is crucial to choose your source for information carefully. Over the last few years, and especially the last 12 months, there has been one outstanding choice for fair, unbiased, and accurate political coverage for the Big Country. I am pleased to award the Konstantin for Abilene Moral Guidepost Of The Year Award, to "The Professors" radio program on KWKC 1340 am . This informative 1 hour program can also be heard online at: from 4 to 5 pm, Monday through Friday.
Dr. Paul Fabrizio, Chairman of the Political Science Department at McMurry University, and Professor Bill Libby Assistant Professor of Religion also at McMurry (With Ken Pyvus sitting in on Mondays), are a beacon of integrity. Through the years, they have shown a level of excellence, that can be respected and admired by all. On a regular basis they give honest coverage of political, as well as, other issues that effect Abilene, Texas, the country, and the world. During campaigns they give equal time, and respect to all candidates on their live program. Their insightful interviews give a perspective that allows voters to make a more informed decision, come election day.
Congratulations Professors! You are the "Moral Guideposts Of The Year" for Abilene and surrounding area. You have earned it...

Moral Eyesore of the year award 2008-2009

Heavenly Virtues, Deadly Sins
What is morality? Is it as simple as right versus wrong, or perhaps a more complicated battle between shades of gray? Some say it is a construct of education, environment, or simply good breeding. There are some who would say it is also a trait of the mind, as well as the will, making it volitional.
The Christian church categorizes the major flaws and merits of human nature into two categories: virtues and sins. The seven deadly sins, (also known as the capital vices or cardinal sins), and the seven heavenly virtues. (Also known as the seven cardinal virtues) The seven deadly sins include: Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Envy, Pride, and Wrath. All are emotions we all feel at times, myself included. They are relatively normal, but if left unchecked can have serious and damaging repercussions on ourselves and those around us. I used these sins as guideposts in determining the "Moral Eyesore of the Year."
It is said what goes around comes around, and I write about the ones who for some reason are, but should not be, an exception to that rule. ;) When deciding upon the "Moral Eyesore" recipient for this year, I started with about six candidates. I narrowed the field down to two individuals. Their responsibilities and effect on Abilene politics are very similar. The only real difference of their impact on the city and surrounding area, is the means of delivery. So, with no further ado, the co-winners of the Moral Eyesore Of The Year Award 2008-2009 are...
Barton Cromeens - Editor of the Abilene Reporter News:
The former Abilene Reporter News Editor Terri Burke is now president of the ACLU in Texas. Upon her departure, Barton Cromeens, (according to AP): joined the newspaper as a staff writer in 1996. He also has served as a photojournalist, photo editor, and assistant managing editor of presentation, before becoming the paper's Editor.
I usually try to avoid jumping into partisan issues, but her successor continues with a very liberal style of reporting. That is the way of things today with the media, and some degree of partisanship will always be evident (assuming you have a heartbeat). With a few exceptions, the majority of candidates, before and since Cromeens have been the most liberal among the "contending" candidates. For all of my democrat friends out there, I am not bashing liberals or the Democratic party. To be honest, I have no problem with a newspaper exercising the same freedom of speech and press that I enjoy, if they choose to endorse a candidate. However, may I point out this area for the most part is conservative, and his newspaper’s reporting does not entirely reflect the interests of the average reader.
As a former candidate, myself, and an active member of the political community of Abilene, I have had a chance to observe how candidates are treated from a perspective few ever get a chance to see. My concern is integrity, accuracy and balance. Forcing equal time is not my issue here. Blatant bias is. Over the years I have seen misquotes, and incorrect information go un corrected. Favored candidates get a lion’s share of positively themed articles, while candidate not embraced by the paper are either all but ignored, or even worse, seemingly intentionally misrepresented. Letters to the editor are often disregarded, and posters to the online version, with nothing more than opposing or critical views of the paper are banned. I suppose that is the prerogative of the paper, but allowing negative stories to appear about a candidate without allowing the candidate to respond is inconceivable to justify.
Sloth and Greed are the best terms, in my mind, to describe the current editor of Abilene’s only major news paper. Sloth, because they seem to do little to strive for excellence since they have a monopoly, instead of justifying their stance against a viewpoint they just delete or ignore it entirely, and they do little to correct errors in a timely manner, if at all. Greed, because they generally endorse candidates who will keep high paying business out of Abilene, when no liberal is apparent. Instead more colleges, providing a more choked job market of untested college students to drive down wages for experienced individuals with experience and a degree, seems to be the trend. This keeps the average competitive wage in the area, and what the market makes them in turn, pay their own people lower than the national average.
George Levesque - news director - KTXS TV:
Levesque hosted the radio sports program "George and the Jungle" on KZQQ-AM , joined KTXS in 2000. He worked as weekend sports anchor, morning news, assistant news director and is currently 5 p.m. news anchor. Where Cromeens is introverted, and rarely releases his own writing to the public, this man is charismatic and eloquent. He speaks on television on a regular basis. I first met Levesque over 20 years ago, but I gather he does not recall the brief, insignificant encounter. One thing about him remains the same to me though. He is as arrogant, and vain now, as he was back then.
Pride in the form of arrogance and an ever present superiority complex are an all too common experience when dealing with Mr. Levesque. For years now is demeanor is respectful to the candidate until he gets what he needs, then he is apathetic, and rude. When the news bit is finished, often the tone is nothing like what was implied it would be. At times candidates words, or facts are skewed to an extremely, intentionally deceptive impression of the candidate. This was done to me, and I have been heard the same story from more than a few former candidates.
He occasionally acts as moderator for debates of local candidates. His delivery and bearing is respectful, however the questions seem a bit too complementary, or helpful to one particular candidate at times. Also when approached with information not complementary to a candidate before a debate, he will not bring certain background questions. During some debates he has either allowed no specific questions to candidates, or no questions from the audience at all. If you suggest a line of questioning which is not complimentary to his favorite candidate, it seems he will not ask it. It is my strong impression that he keeps damaging information from coming about certain candidates being known, while amplifying faults in others.
Unfortunately, this is common in broadcasting today, and Is the rule more often than the exception. I don’t expect much from the media, and bias is a constant motif during elections to some to degree. It is, as they say, the nature of the beast, and George is no more or less a Teflon veneer that is most anchor men. My main problem is that the delivery of news stories, from my extensive personal experience, is biased, unethical, unfair, untrustworthy, and seemingly agenda driven. The choices made as news director at KTXS, has done anything but, "earn my trust".
May it be said that I am not doing this on behalf of any entity, candidate, or group. With the exception of my father, who has been in the media( Newspapers, magazines, radio, and currently television) for almost 40 years, this writer has acted entirely upon my own personal motivations, and convictions. In conclusion, it saddens me to have to write this article about members of our local media. Some of my critics accuse me of wrath, I see it more as righteous indignation. It is my hope that these actions are a reflection of these two men in whom we put our confidence to report the news honestly, and not of their parent companies. It is my hope that theses men are either reprimanded or removed from their position, should they choose to continue their less than noble propensities.
The candidacy of Abilene City Councilman (Moral Eyesore Of The Decade recipient) is a perfect example of what seems to be a common media trend in the Key City. Reporting has been inaccurate and corrections have been slow or non existent. I regularly have chosen to interject on the web forums for the online version of the Reporter news for 5 years now. I had made some statements pointing out documentable concerns upon Chase’s private law practice. This included ethical and criminal complaints. made in the past against him to the Taylor County DA, Adult Protective Services, and Grievances to the State Bar of Texas. As for his characterization as being the more conservative candidate, PLEASE! I Do not know his challenger, Shane Price, well, but portraying him as anyone’s puppet is simply absurd. I have read his writing, and attended several of his speaking engagements. If I had any indication of that at all, I certainly would pass that on. There is just no evidence to back this mindset. This boy scout troop leader seems to be a honest man with no hidden agendas of his own, much less on the behalf of others.
Also the fire and police officers associations were not allowed a response to some of Chase’s statements about not receiving their endorsement, until after early voting had concluded. A few hours before Chase was endorsed by the paper, all of my postings were removed to the news stories. All of them… Also during a recent candidate forum Levesque, again would not allow questions directed to individual candidates. As a candidate and a private individual, I have received a lot of abuse because of my opinions, both deserved and undeserved. However to be censored entirely by a body that enjoys the constitutional protection of the First Amendment, is shocking as it is disgraceful. I challenge Mr Chase, win or loose, to voluntarily submit his grievance and any other records with the State Bar of Texas for public view, unless he has something to hide... Bottom line, Boy Scout leader, or corporate lawyer? Take all the time you need.
This is not an eleventh hour attempt to endorse any candidate. It is simply my attempt to show a shocking trend that must be corrected. As a person who studied political science in college, I have some advice. When it is time to make a decision upon how to vote, what the media has to say does have some degree of credence, and I support the right of those bodies under the freedom of speech to endorse a candidate if they choose. However, may I suggest contacting the candidate directly, and reading materials produced directly by the candidate, instead of trusting a second party. It is time we see more virtues, such as: Temperance, Charity, Diligence, and Humility. Perhaps then, justice would more often prevail in this world. Congratulations, George Levesque and Barton Cromeens upon your dubious honor of being chosen for the Konstantin For Abilene Moral Eyesore Of The Year 2008-2009 award. You have certainly worked hard to earn it!

I hope you enjoy this installment of Konstantin for Abilene 'Moral Eyesore of the Year'. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me. My goal is to act as a watchdog on behalf of, as I call us, "the other 85%". I restrict submissions to public people or organizations that have a very good/negative impact on Abilene and the Big Country, not private individuals, who are not part of public life! It is said what goes around comes around, and I write about the ones who for some reason should not be an exception to that rule. ;) Obviously, this is an opinion piece, based upon my personal observations, and what I sincerely believe to be true after exhaustive research of the matter is concluded. If I am in error in even the smallest detail, please let me know, and I will take appropriate steps to correct the error. My intent is not to smear anyone unfairly, or cause undue distress. This effort is a direct result of multiple, unsuccessful attempts to expose issues that are, in my opinion, of great concern to the area, that local media will not print or broadcast. I could not beat them, so I decided to join them. Please excuse my dyslexia, if my grammar or syntax fails to hit the mark…
In 1996, I felt a calling, to what I perceived at the time, as a calling to ministry. I do not deny being a simple man of many personal shortcomings. Being a literal "man of the cloth" is perhaps a goal too lofty for a sinful man, such as me. After many trials and a few victories, I truly believe to be among the least of God’s servants… However, when no other, more appropriate individual presents him/herself, I put my words to practice, and take on the task to personally stand in the gap, for what my conscience demands is right. The purpose of this article is not to condemn, as much as it is to inform. However, inside my chest beats the heart of an activist, drawn to crusade to true and lofty causes. Those concerns involving the poor, elderly, disabled, children, and generally the downtrodden of society are particularly captivating. To those unaware, I am 37 with an associates and bachelor’s degree. I have also run twice for a place on the Abilene City Council, and once for Mayor of Abilene, Texas.
I pledge I will never intentionally mislead, or misrepresent the facts of an issue. If you have the slightest suspicion my thoughts may upset you in any way, please choose not to read them. As an Idealist/INFP, ( ) my goal is to benefit the greater good, not upset individuals. In other words: READ AT YOUR OWN RISK! I would like to thank: the citizens of Abilene ad the Big Country, Abilene City Councilman - Sam Chase, Stan Alcorn/Deacons of Pioneer Drive Baptist Church, George Levesque - Station manager KTXS TV, and most of all, Barton Cromeens - Editor of the Abilene Reporter News, for inspiring me to take up this endeavor. So, God bless America, the freedom of speech, and the freedom of the press. Kids, don't try this at home....

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