Aiken Newspaper Apologizes To Readers For Corrupt Ad Deal

LONG LIVE “JOURNALISTIC ETHICS” By FITSNEWS || Last week this newspaper ran a press release from a citizens’ advocacy group in Aiken County, S.C. alleging unethical practices on the part of the local newspaper – The Aiken Standard. Or the “Sub-Standard,” as its known locally. Apparently in addition to shamelessly…


By FITSNEWS || Last week this newspaper ran a press release from a citizens’ advocacy group in Aiken County, S.C. alleging unethical practices on the part of the local newspaper – The Aiken Standard.

Or the “Sub-Standard,” as its known locally.

Apparently in addition to shamelessly cheerleading for a local sales tax increase (one of several such votes enabled by S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley this year), the paper decided to take is impartial journalistic integrity one step further.

How? By offering a pay-to-say opportunity for the pro-tax hike group that would have enabled it to receive a cut of advertising revenue.

“Their advertising department solicited business to fund the (pro-tax) committee … through ads in their paper, with the promise that the Standard (would) donate 10 percent of this ad revenue to the proponent committee,” the citizens’ group alleged.

Wow … talk about a conflict of interest.

Were the charges leveled against the paper accurate? Absolutely. Of course according to the leadership of the Standard, the whole thing was just an oversight … one that was corrected immediately.

“Senior management and editors of the Aiken Standard learned what was happening and put a stop to it within hours,” the paper’s audience development director Tim O’Briant wrote.

“It was, plain and simple, an error on the part of one employee,” the paper’s publisher Ellen Priest added.

Sure …

After weeks of whoring for this $125 million tax hike – which would subsidize additional government-run academic failure – we’re supposed to swallow this explanation?


The Aiken Standard vows it has “instituted a new policy” to prevent such corrupt deal-making from ever happening again – all part of its ongoing commitment to “truth and objective journalism.” Sheesh … a few more foxes around the hen house, right?

With all due respect, we would argue the paper should look at this issue a bit more elementally – namely by resolving to cover future issues fairly or (God forbid) in a manner that protects the interests of the public it is tasked with serving, not the interests of a select handful of shady politicians and overpaid bureaucrats.

That’s what we do … dispensing with all the sanctimonious “journalistic ethics” in exchange for an irreverent “Unfair, Imbalanced” approach that makes no bones about which side of the fence we’re on.

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SC Political Digest October 5, 2014 at 5:26 pm

But FITS never apologizes for his corruption. So I guess the lack of ANY integrity by FITS is what separates him from the Establishment media. So FITS is “alternative” in that respect.

guest October 5, 2014 at 7:18 pm

I see Fits got Haley in the post. This site is entertaining. Corrupt? Don’t know any of the “players” to make that judgement.

“Integrity by Fits”. Na. When the only purpose of your life, business and self-worth is to apparently destroy Governor Nikki Haley and her family over an alleged affair (I have no idea if it is true) Will has apparently claimed to have had with Haley, in my opinion, it really has reached the legal requirements for harassment and stalking (just an opinion-NOT an attorney). There is also legal precedent in the state of SC for a “public figure” to sue for defamation in a Civil Court and WIN. Just happened in Horry County.

I just read the “tenor” of the articles by Fits and the comments and it appears to me Fits and some of those contributing not only want her defeated in a political election but also put in prison.

Am I missing something? Why would the governor put up with this shit? Just asking.

FastEddy23 October 5, 2014 at 7:38 pm

“… the only purpose of your life, business and self-worth is to apparently destroy Governor Nikki Haley …”

One of the things that has endeared me to FITSNews is that they are an equal opportunity politician hit squad. It appears to this outsider that the current governor has a lot to be thankful for … That FITSNews has not gone after Her exclusively.

FastEddy23 October 5, 2014 at 7:27 pm

“But FITS never apologizes for his corruption. …”

What? Do they all drive Cadillacs here, now? I’m betting not.

Is any other SC print or video or ‘net media following this story from any angle?

Ha Ha October 5, 2014 at 5:44 pm

Oh I don’t know Fits.

Some of your uber Libertarian yakking can be pretty “sanctimonious.”

tomstickler October 5, 2014 at 6:17 pm

“By FITSNEWS || Last week this newspaper….”

Which “newspaper”?

Lapdog, not watchdog October 5, 2014 at 6:33 pm

Print is dying. They are desperate for money. This shouldn’t surprise anyone.

truthmonger October 5, 2014 at 6:58 pm

Print is dying BECAUSE of the loss of journalistic integrity and investigative reporting. People would still buy papers if they were relevant. It’s corrupt management that puts out the lie that it has to do with technology.

FastEddy23 October 5, 2014 at 7:22 pm

I wish I could ++ vote ++ several more times on this one.

euwe max October 5, 2014 at 7:35 pm

Why spend money on investigative reporting, if outside press releases that cost nothing sells product just as well?

People will pay to hear the news they want to hear… and change the channel if it annoys them.

Reality has been marginalized by political expediency.

FastEddy23 October 5, 2014 at 7:20 pm

Agreed. The SF Comical is so desperate that they have stopped printing anything remotely resembling a hit piece … except for what boosts the g’ment unions and the gay mafia. (You all should read their recommendations for the local propositions = basically in favor of anything that fattens g’ment pensions and/or degrades private sector jobs.)

sparklecity October 5, 2014 at 8:56 pm


You think FITS or some other damn blog is going to cover local high school sports, or what is happening in the community without having some blatant bias that nearly ALL blogs do???

As much as I enjoy visiting sites like “FITS” and participating in the instant “back and forth”, I’ll take the Spartanburg Herald Journal over ANY blog if there is something I want to know about my local area.

Plain and simple!!!!!!

Cyndi Smith October 5, 2014 at 9:12 pm

I love Allegiant Airlines! You fucked up! ! :-)

sparklecity October 6, 2014 at 8:46 am

What in the hell are you referring to?????

Lapdog, not watchdog October 6, 2014 at 12:55 am Reply
sparklecity October 6, 2014 at 8:45 am

Like I’m going click on to another “blog”

I don’t NEED no STINKIN’ blogs to know what is going on!!!!!!

Lapdog, not watchdog October 6, 2014 at 10:23 am

Facts & figures can be upsetting, especially if they disrupt your worldview.

euwe max October 5, 2014 at 6:56 pm

Faux proved that lies are legitimate news – what could possibly be more shocking than that?

FastEddy23 October 5, 2014 at 7:17 pm

Got similar dirt on the others? MSNBC? CNN? … CBS? … Or are you just hitting Fox ’cause you can?

On the reverse of that coin: It would appear that “unfair and balanced” is better or at least closer to the truth than “fair and balanced”.

euwe max October 5, 2014 at 7:29 pm

I’m hitting Faux because they’re Republican scum.

FastEddy23 October 5, 2014 at 7:54 pm

… as opposed to what? The “progressive” demo-Fascist taxsuckers at the New York Slimes?

ReElect Nikki October 5, 2014 at 9:35 pm

We have “conservative values ” here in SC!

And we have “conservative” government too.Next month we will ReElect a great Governor!

euwe max October 5, 2014 at 10:00 pm

Opposed to what?
A rat in the sewer doesn’t need a counter point.

Bible Thumper October 5, 2014 at 10:06 pm

Koch brothers are no different ethically than Tom Steyer and George Soros.

FastEddy23 October 7, 2014 at 12:43 pm

Yes … and both have equal protection under law (now) to spend their fortunes as they feel necessary.

IMOP the Koch Brothers seek a more perfect Republic while Soros seems to be supporting something less … and making vast sums along the way (dissing the Dollar in a timely fashion … as He did with the british pound.)

Otherwise they are all of the same cloth: fools and their money, soon parted. My advise is never, ever give money to a lawyer or politician …

Bible Thumper October 5, 2014 at 8:43 pm

And euwe max posted an article by David Duke without attribution claiming Senate sponsorship of a bill was based on their Jewish faith or heritage. The article also made an unverified claim that a Senator’s mother was Jewish and that influenced his vote.

euwe max October 5, 2014 at 9:50 pm

do you care if the Senator’s mother was Jewish?
Is it the truth you’re worried about, or the attribution?

Bible Thumper October 5, 2014 at 10:01 pm

I care that anyone cares. I care if it is false. I care if reporting is false whether from the left or right. Attribution can be relevant to determining a hidden motive. Does “disgusting Republican scum” apply to all Republicans? Is there disgusting Democratic scum?

euwe max October 5, 2014 at 10:02 pm

Attribution can be relevant to determining a hidden motive
fair dinkum – that’s a good reason to discount Faux news, and Republican propaganda as well..

Bible Thumper October 5, 2014 at 10:11 pm

Believe it or not. I partly agree. You should consider a bias when a Republican is criticizing the President or when a Democrat is criticizing Haley.

euwe max October 5, 2014 at 11:34 pm

I am acutely aware of bias… and I’m a liberal – not a Democrat.

idcydm October 5, 2014 at 9:45 pm

But you over look it on the other side don’t you max. Just like when you told me it was fine that a rich liberal gave money to Democrats because you believe in his cause…but it’s outrageous when the Kochs do it. Double standard.

max, me thinks thou dost protest too much.

euwe max October 5, 2014 at 9:49 pm

do you really think the Koch brothers are no different than anyone giving money to a cause?

idcydm October 5, 2014 at 9:56 pm

They’re no different but I don’t hear you complaining about the Unions giving money. At least with the Kochs and your rich liberal it’s their money.

Everyone complains about 501c unless it’s one they like.

euwe max October 5, 2014 at 9:58 pm

If you really think buying votes and distorting the news is neutral, you aren’t paying attention.

Is it remotely possible that good and evil aren’t equal?

Or that all causes are ethically equal?

idcydm October 5, 2014 at 10:06 pm

I’m paying attention and see vote buying and distortion on both sides.

What burns you is the fact that SCOTUS said it’s constitutional, just like it burns conservatives when they said Obamacare is constitutional also.

And don’t forget everything on the internet is true.

idcydm October 5, 2014 at 10:28 pm


euwe max October 5, 2014 at 10:03 pm

When Hitler uses propaganda it’s bad, but when we do it, it’s ok. Do you see how false equality works?

The devil gets equal time in your world?

idcydm October 5, 2014 at 10:11 pm

Hitler and the devil are you speaking of Obama, he’s in charge now?

euwe max October 5, 2014 at 11:33 pm

Do you think that selling America to the rich, and smothering the public with propaganda from right wing sources is a viable solution to the problems we have?

idcydm October 6, 2014 at 7:42 am

There you go with the “right wing”, as if the left wing doesn’t use propaganda.

What problems do we have, unemployment is below 6%, Obama said the economy is doing fine, global warming is the biggest threat to our national security and we have no boots on the ground. You’re right, it’s plain as day only the right wing is full of BS.

euwe max October 6, 2014 at 7:48 am

I’m not buying the false equality of Republicans.

idcydm October 6, 2014 at 8:19 am

Yes, the false analogy, evasion at it’s best.

euwe max October 6, 2014 at 8:35 am

Republicans are the unholy union of the libertarian sociopathic rich, ignorant goat fuckers, luddites, hatists, racists, and sociopath wannabe’s.

idcydm October 6, 2014 at 8:36 am

I can only laugh.

euwe max October 6, 2014 at 8:42 am

A harridan laugh, no doubt.

idcydm October 6, 2014 at 8:44 am

It ain’t workin.

euwe max October 6, 2014 at 8:53 am

That’s what *I* said!

idcydm October 6, 2014 at 8:55 am


nitrat October 6, 2014 at 9:02 am

If you followed the phone hacking case by the Murdoch papers in the UK, you would know that Rupert Murdoch’s goal is to control the governments of the English speaking world.
In the UK, he does that with spying, hacking, threatening British prime ministers to keep them in line and doing what he wants. Gordon Brown spoke out about it at the Levenson Hearings.
Murdoch has done the same thing in n his homeland of Australia with his newspapers.
He has focused on Fox News here. He keeps the politicians in line by denying them access to Fox’s less than 2 Million viewers if they do not toe his line.
Whether you love what Murdoch’s minions say or not, it should worry everyone that his goal is to dictate political policy for the country via controlling the politicians of a major political party.
Please don’t try to say that any other cable news outlet rewards and punishes politicians the way Fox does.

nitrat October 6, 2014 at 8:51 am

Fox = propaganda

SC Political Digest October 5, 2014 at 7:06 pm

SC-bound “Blundering Biden” gaffes again! No wonder Sheheen’s hiding from him on SCPSD..and your’e running this irrelevant, non-topical crap?

euwe max October 5, 2014 at 7:31 pm

USB drives can host viruses in their firmware

USB controllers are ARM microcontrollers that are programmed to accept upgrade code. The only thing that has changed, is it recently went public. Wait until you find out what’s lurking under the hood of your car!

Firmware upgrade is an integral part of hardware deployment. The exploits for them have not all been published. I happen to know that Google is developing thermostats, cameras, and other household devices with two RF protocols in them that can be hacked to allow them to be used for other purposes.

Satellite receivers, television cable boxes, internet modems… were all made with encrypted password access.. every one was compromised. The bleeding edge of electronic warfare is not being waged by users, but by smart, bad people with ideas. Snapshots of your computer screens may be being stored on remote computers along with keystroke recordings, and later paired for account passwords at your bank, email, work.. etc.

Unless you know how it’s being done, it’s unlikely you could tell if it is being done to you.

When they find out that a department store or a bank’s security has been compromised, they tell you on the news (if they can’t keep it secret) – but who’s going to tell you that your security has been compromised?

..and not that it matters, but the FBI and the NSA is twisting the arms of electronics manufacturers – phones, modems, switches, patch panels, car black boxes..etc. to give them a “back door” in case you go rogue and start making life hard on them… can you imagine trying to sell a Cisco modem to a foreign country, when they know our NSA has a back door to the encrypted connection?

The FBI and the NSA are also irritated if you use a non-standard encryption scheme to protect your email, or your connections.. if you try doing that, you will suddenly become a high-profile security risk that deserves special, concentrated attention.

Who are the bad guys? It depends on what you have to lose.

But one thing is for sure – you don’t have privacy left to lose.

FastEddy23 October 5, 2014 at 7:51 pm

Yup. Correct-u-mundo. Even the firmware on your built in hard drive and DVD burner can be hacked. I expect that my own multiple e-files at the NSA/CIA/FEMA/IRS/FTSB/Small Animal Administration/Military Industrial Complex are really loaded with damning evidence, some of which I actually did and do write.

“I made the FBI add the entire Sunday New York Times, including the funnies, to my permanent record.” – Defendant during the Gang of Eight hearings in Chicago, 1969.

(The reason Intel bought McAfee was to de-louse built-in CPU firmware since they had the best scrubbers for this.)

euwe max October 5, 2014 at 8:05 pm

The thing that pisses me off the most is the “man-in-the-middle” attack that manufacturers are using to get clear text connections.

128 bit encryption is useless in the face of that. They wouldn’t use that information to hack into your bank account, but when the revolution comes – they’ll know a lot more about you than you’d like… and during a national emergency, you don’t need a warrant to get that information from them.

Tucumcari October 5, 2014 at 7:55 pm

You fucked up. :-)

euwe max October 5, 2014 at 7:58 pm

You’re going to fuck up if you keep this up.

Jim Smith October 5, 2014 at 8:19 pm

Really? Keep what up?

euwe max October 5, 2014 at 9:52 pm

Really? Fucked what up?

Tom October 5, 2014 at 8:30 pm

Any paper that could repeatedly endorse that lying son of a bitch Greg Ryberg can easily cheat its readers.

I remember when Ryberg wore cowboy boots and a handle bar mustache and spent his afternoons getting head from the fat clerks at the lottery dens/selling points for rolling papers/beer and over priced milk and eggs joints he called gas stations.

Ryberg was scum then and is scum now. So is the paper.

SC Political Digest October 5, 2014 at 8:40 pm

Meanwhile: Sheheen is ducking the Democrat VP of the US, who bungled on an international security level again today (imagine that)….Biden is coming to SC… is FITS ignoring it? …Embarrassed????

SCPSD is the only in-state outlet reporting on Sheheen’s cowardice from the handiwork of his party’s leaders….

Bible Thumper October 5, 2014 at 8:57 pm

“After weeks of whoring” When Fits does it, at least he doesn’t try to fool you. He wears six inch heals, fishnet stockings and a pound of makeup.

RHood2 October 5, 2014 at 10:01 pm

You are FAIR? I promised I would stop doing this and for months I have. But in light of this posturing I must ask, “How’s that Haley endorsement working out? An endirsementmade because you simply could not rise above party politics.

nitrat October 6, 2014 at 8:31 am

Off topic, but related story about the absolutely unaccountable, unmonitored, unregulated ways the the charter school business – virtual and bricks and mortar – rip off the taxpayers…big time. But, they make great campaign contributions to right wing/libertarian politicians:

flag man vinny October 6, 2014 at 8:43 am

You are a dumbass. You liberals just want to keep poor blacks and their children uneducated and beholden to the failed state controlled public schools just like you keep blacks enslaved to the perpetual welfare system in this country.Dems like to keep em stupid and poor for votes.

nitrat October 6, 2014 at 8:46 am

You are an ignorant dumbass. If you have the guts to read the links in this piece, you will see that what you are accusing the public schools of doing is exactly what the charter schools are doing.
Without any government oversight of the financing they receive from the taxpayer.

robert e.lee October 6, 2014 at 8:56 am

The Washington Post? Most liberal rag in the country.What you reading now-Pravda?

nitrat October 6, 2014 at 8:43 am

Why does it bother right wingers/libertarians the way it does when elected school boards, city councils, county councils – the elected officials closest to the voters – vote to have elections where the voters vote to come up with a decision about how to collect and use their tax monies?
Why is that? Could it be – NC is a great example – that the right wingers/libertarians don’t care about citizens in localities voting on issues and doing what THEY choose because the right wingers/libertarians want to impose their ideology from above?
Right wingers/libertarians like this are fascists, good old fashioned fascists.

ban dems October 6, 2014 at 8:53 am

Put a Democrat and liberal on a school board or local council and you end up with a socialist that trys to inject perversion into the schools and community while destroying the personal property rights of citizens and regulating small business out of business.

Aiken Guest October 6, 2014 at 9:37 am

Given that I have experience with the crowd that runs (or local figure heads), in particular Tim O’Briant, (a real dumbfuck), I’m inclined to believe their response. Make no mistake about it, if there is a tax increase involved or a big government boondoggle to support, they are first in line. However, the mental midget at the front desk taking ad orders is not involved in any corruption, just clueless.

Crooner October 6, 2014 at 1:17 pm

Wait: isn’t that just the free market at work? The only thing corporations are required to do is earn profits for shareholders.

No October 6, 2014 at 1:33 pm


Anything involving government, is by its very nature not “free market”.

Guero October 7, 2014 at 6:41 am

Billy Folks, nose fully inserted up the arse of Howie Rich and the local wefare queen, the Kirkman, snifs at other’s journalistic ethics? Really?


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