Kevin Woster of Rapid City Journal's Mt. Blogmore is wondering if the Gannon/Talon bit is newsworthy and has generated this response from a Blogmore reader:
If you do cover the Gannon issue, and don’t cover all the evidence he produced on David Kranz, then the bias would stick so bad that you can cut it with a knife. What did Gannon do that was so mean spirited? Did he did up stuff on Kranz’s personal sex life? Or was the allegations based solely on his ties to the Democrat Party?
Isn’t there some unwritten rule that journalists cannot hold other journalists accountable? I have written letters about Kranz in another paper and the publisher refused to print it saying: we do not want to promote our competition. I don’t think exposing the lack of the competition’s credibility is promotion. There must be another reason.
There’s no rule about not covering other journalists, if they have a real news impact outside a normal reporter’s role. I can tell you that from what I’ve seen and know, the alleged impact of Dave Kranz’ past Democratic affiliations was dramatically overblown by people with a political agenda. Does that mean Kranz didn’t make some ethical mistakes in years past. It does not. He did, just as many other reporters, including me, have made mistakes. I think Dave Kranz made a serious and successful effort to overcome those mistakes, and has done some remarkable reporting since then. I haven’t seen any substantial evidence that what he did while in college (Lord, don’t start talking about what we did in college, PLEASE), and in a couple of instances or poor judgment later on have affected his coverage in recent times. Still, that’s something I’d look at, if I did the project. — KW)
First, since Gannon's first stories about SD were apparently about claims of Argus/Kranz bias by a potential US Senate candidate, then the basis of those claims and the reason the national blogosphere and MSM paid attention must also be reviewed. After all, the Washington Times, Wall Street Journal, Economist, Guardian, National Journal etc...have all written about the bias controversy at the Argus, but SD outlets haven't. The root of this whole controversy is the Argus, so any serious reporting about it has to review Argus criticism in detail. Second, isn't Woster conceding that the blog criticism of the Argus/Kranz had some basis in fact when he talks about Kranz's past "ethical mistakes"? It would seem that the past criticism of Kranz by The New York Times and Roll Call for his "hysterical bashing" of Republicans had some merit. See here for details. One obvious story from the last campaign is why the South Dakota media never delved into this controversy which many of the nation's key political analysts were closely observing. Kranz has written hundreds, perhaps thousands of articles/columns about SD politics for decades. So who's more important, Kranz or Gannon? What's the real story? As Woster says, any story about this matter must deal with the Kranz background. Again, Kranz is a great guy personally, he really is. He just has a habit of favoring the Democrats because that is where his heart his. And good for him. He has an opinion and that's fine. I'm all for expressing your opinion. It's just that if the Argus wants to be balanced, they should label his columns opinion, put them on the opinion page, and hire someone to write from the other side of the aisle. A very simple, reasonable solution, which the alliance has proposed for a long time. Anyway, if reporters are going to delve into Gannon, they have a lot of Kranz history to review first. He's the reason, apparently, that Gannon started writing about South Dakota in the first place.