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Some say this website has evolved beyond being a mere blog … but one thing that isn’t up for debate is the fact that we are a biased outlet. In addition to breaking news on a daily basis we are actively attempting to influence our readers’ thinking on the various issues we cover.

“Unfair, Imbalanced … ” it says so right there on the masthead.

Gina Smith, on the other hand, is a reporter for The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper  – a.k.a. La Socialista. This is (or was) the largest mainstream media outlet in South Carolina, a publication which ostensibly adheres to time-honored journalistic standards. And while it’s been nearly three years since Smith last had a big scoop, she prides herself on being objective and impartial in her “reporting.”

Is that really the case, though?

No. Not even a little bit. For example, Smith was one of several South Carolina mainstream media reporters who was presented with gift-wrapped evidence last year of an illegal campaign finance scam being perpetrated by former S.C. Lt. Gov. Ken Ard – a scam which resulted in Ard resigning immediately prior to his indictment a month ago.

What did Smith do with this information?

Nothing …

Gina Smith: “Reporter?” Or propagandist?

Nor has Smith lifted a finger to expose the rash of unethical taxpayer-funded lobbying that goes on in defense of our state’s worst-in-the-nation K-12 system (click here and here to see what we’re talking about) – or the thousands of dollars that overpaid educrats spend on lavish vacations and other non-essential expenses.

What is she focusing her energies on? Demonizing parental choice supporters for financially supporting elected officials in the Palmetto State. In fact, Smith devoted more than 1,800 words to an “above the fold” hit piece on school choice supporter Howard Rich in Sunday’s editions of The State – a one-sided hatchet job which exposed the fact that someone has made (gasp) legal campaign contributions to politicians.

So let’s get this straight … our state’s elected officials and taxpayer-funded bureaucrats can break our campaign finance laws and Smith will look the other way … but a private citizen who obeys the law is pilloried?

Sheesh … we knew The State had long ago given up any pretense of being objective on this issue, but the double standard in this case is especially galling.

Fortunately, fewer and fewer people are buying the snake oil that Smith and her paper are selling.

“(Smith’s article) was a cheap shot to serve the status quo political propaganda needs, nothing more,” one limited government advocate observed. “Its sad how a once powerful newspaper has degenerated into a whore mouthpiece for the status quo.”

Indeed … and it’s happening much more frequently these days.

Fore example earlier this year, La Socialista participated in a shameful series of groundless assaults seeking to impugn the credibility of S.C. Treasurer Curtis Loftis (who happens to be a prominent parental choice supporter).

What did Loftis do wrong?

Nothing … but The State joined a corrupt cabal of insiders in attacking him anyway, part of a broader effort to keep Loftis from reforming our state’s woefully mismanaged, money-losing pension fund.

Seriously … whose side is this newspaper on?

And let’s not forget La Socialista‘s ongoing efforts on behalf of the University of South Carolina’s “Innovista” project, a spectacularly-failed big government boondoggle that has cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars over the last five years. Not only has The State breathlessly promoted this hole in the ground and the “thousands of high-paying jobs” it never created, but the paper also served as the University’s insurance policy against bad press related to the project.

Again … whose side is this newspaper on?

Because they’re not on your side … and they’re certainly not on the side of our state’s students.

As much as La Socialista might wish it were otherwise, the debate over parental choice has nothing to do with a private citizen exercising his right to free expression. Instead it has everything to do with a system that falls further behind the rest of the nation each year despite record funding increases and various “reforms in name only.”

Yet rather than exposing the corruption and mismanagement of this government-run monopoly, The State is continuing its efforts to demonize a man whose only crime is spending his own money in defense of an idea he supports … an idea which, incidentally, would go a long way toward breaking our state’s monopolistic stranglehold over the academic progress of our future generations.

Certainly we expect such a hypocritical double standard from the paper’s uber liberal editorial board … but Smith doesn’t writer for the editorial board. She’s a reporter … or at least she claims to be.

Oh well … the more time La Socialista spends shilling for the status quo, the less influence and less circulation it will have, and the more websites like this one will continue to drive the debate in this state.