"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Too Far…

July 5th, 2007 by mopns · No Comments

As we’ve stated on numerous occasions on MOPNS, the internet is a wonderful medium for citizen journalists to express their opinions and share news the mainstream press often ignores.

The Internet and blogging is the truest form of freedom of expression in the 21st century; going way beyond writing a thoughtful letter or insightful op-ed to the local newspaper, and then hoping and praying the paper prints it.

All that being said, there is a disturbing trend in the blogosphere to cross established ethical and journalistic boundaries – that to their credit, the mainstream press would never venture – to attack people personally who are not directly involved in the political process. Recently, a local St. Louis African American weekly and a so called “blogger” combined to attack a former low level staffer to former Senator Talent – who by the way, left the senator’s office two years before the senator’s election defeat. Our standard at the Missouri Political News Service is that if you are in public life – as either an elected or appointed official, or you currently work for the before mentioned – you’re personal and political foibles are fair game.

Last week, one of our favorite blogs, Tony’s Kansas City, went too far in our opinion when they targeted Mayor Funkhouser’s daughter on one of their posts. To justify his post, Tony wrote:

“And before I go any further . . . I have to stress that I had some reservations about writing a hit piece regarding the Mayor’s daughter but those concerns were slowly put to rest by the fact that the Mayor himself has offered her up as “one of his representatives”

No excuse. Ever since former first lady Jackie Kennedy asked for privacy for her young children after her husband’s assassination, the press has generally respected the privacy of politician’s children. Because Ms. Funkhouser writes on her father’s blog, that shouldn’t make her a target. Is she on the K.C. government payroll?

And just today, the Raytown Progressive engaged in tawdry speculation on the marital status of Rep. Kraus:

“I live in Will Kraus’s neighborhood. Every morning on the way to work I look down his street to see what the Wilster is up to. His house in only one away from the corner, so it’s easy to see. But for the last few weeks the (foreign) car with the Rep 48 plate has been AWOL. At first I thought the Willy Boy was just at the two-week drill the Guard folks (bless them) do. But after a few more weeks I got to wondering. And then a friend reported a Will sighting. The Toyota was busted with the hood up on Noland Road, and Will standing out in front of it. So Will is in town.”

This type of rumor and innuendo regarding someones personal life is material we will never report. C’mon guys, we can do better than this!

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