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On “Blurred (Media) Lines”

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THE HYPOCRISY OF SOUTH CAROLINA’S “LEGACY PRESS”

sicBy WILL FOLKS ||  In his story this week about a dustup between myself and Lowcountry businessman Thomas Ravenel, reporter Schuyler Kropf of The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier made a comment about the “blurred lines” between bloggers and political operatives in South Carolina.

The remark was intended to call into question the credibility of this website, inviting readers to infer that anyone volunteering their time on behalf of a candidate for public office is somehow incapable of rendering objective opinions about that candidate or the issues surrounding their candidacy.  And that new media outlets covering politics – especially this new media outlet – cannot be trusted.

I’ve got a couple of thoughts on Kropf’s implied criticism …

First, FITS is not a blog.  Not anymore.  We compete directly with the mainstream media now – as evidenced by the 228,491 unique visits and 1.1 million page views we’ve received over the last thirty days, according to Google Analytics.  And as evidenced by the major stories we break weeks ahead of the “legacy press.”

So Kropf can dismissively refer to FITS as a “blog” all he wants, but the numbers don’t lie.  Nor does the content we churn out to generate those numbers..

Second, FITS has never made any bones about its role as an opinion website.  “Unfair, Imbalanced” is our motto – and it’s emblazoned on every page we publish.

“I write what I see,” I told Kropf for his story.

That’s the way it’s always been around here … and the way it will always be.

But there’s a flip side to that coin.  Kropf apparently feels he is on solid ground when it comes to questioning my “journalistic ethics.”

With all due respect, he should check beneath his feet …

“The Post and Courier is in the business of establishment protection – not investigative journalism,” we wrote recently. “It exists to coddle and spin on behalf of powerful elected officials and institutions – not challenge or expose them on behalf of its readers.”

Click HERE and HERE to see what I’m talking about – and click here to see one of the taxpayer-subsidized rewards they receive for their subservience.

Of course The Post and Courier isn’t the only left-leaning news outlet in the Palmetto State that’s selling out to the status quo … just this week the local “mainstream” daily in Aiken, S.C. got caught trying to enter into a profit-sharing deal with a pro-tax group.  Then there’s The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper – which is engaged in an ongoing jihad against parental choice.  Or the Associated Press, whose top political writer has a few “blurred lines” of her own.

Every day, these outlets advance agendas aimed at preserving the stranglehold a select few special interests and entrenched bureaucrats have over this state … a vice grip that has demonstrably failed South Carolina’s citizens and taxpayers.

It’s a remarkably simple equation: They bow to powerful interests … whereas my website exposes those interests.

And yet they want to call me out for “blurred lines?”

Please …

I had a dispute with a friend of mine.  It was a private dispute – and it appears to have been resolved to everyone’s satisfaction.

But that’s not stopping a guy whose media outlet receives millions of dollar in sales tax breaks from state government to use the dustup as an excuse to question my integrity …

Again … please.

This is a marketplace of ideas.  And I’m competing in it just like Kropf is.  Better, actually.

And unlike him, I don’t need your tax dollars to help me compete …