On “Blurred (Media) Lines”

THE HYPOCRISY OF SOUTH CAROLINA’S “LEGACY PRESS” By 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…


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 …

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Say What??!! October 7, 2014 at 9:24 am

“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.”

Are you a dolt? Obtuse much? Private and you spread it all over this site yesterday?

Give us a break, FITS.

Eye Roll October 7, 2014 at 10:41 am

You don’t get it. LCPD would leak it anyway.

Smirks October 7, 2014 at 12:45 pm

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.

slurping intensifies

Gregory Geddings October 8, 2014 at 7:02 am

Man the Kneepads! Full Seed Ahead!

Sexy Time October 7, 2014 at 3:27 pm

I think that if Sic and T-Rav have made up, they should have the decency to film their make up sex and post it for everyone, especially 9″.

Yosemite Sam October 7, 2014 at 9:25 am

“Great horni-todes, podna’ — giv’em one last chance ta surrenda!”

CorruptionInColumbia October 7, 2014 at 9:28 am

Slam Dunk, Will!!!!!

F.L.Morals October 7, 2014 at 9:29 am

I love this site.Entertaining and informative. Safe and secure? What website is these days?
So called traditional print media has forfeited its right to be critical of any alternative media, in my opinion. They have become leftist tools for the Democrat Party and “blurred” the line between its news reporting and editorial page long ago.
In regards to “invesigative” reporting .Both traditional and alternative media have destroyed this concept.In my opinion instead of letting the facts lead them to the truth, so called “investigative” reporting has become just the art and practice of destroying institutions, public officials,individuals and their families.
Such is the plight of media today.They no longer serve the general interests of a community and that is sad.

FastEddy23 October 7, 2014 at 9:56 am

Mmmmm … Letters to Editors pages in print now filled with shills for that media, that agenda, that outlet.

Here, what you see is what you get, poobas, pundits, profanity and all.

E Norma Scok October 7, 2014 at 9:31 am

I’ve never called the cops on a “friend” who was calling me.

guest October 7, 2014 at 9:47 am

Will is a husband and father. Apparently he felt a need to protect his family? Can’t judge him for that.
Maybe Fits will tone down the “volume” on their call for the destruction of certain institutions and public servants in this state, many times without the facts.
Until then I can’t feel sorry for him and it appears he needs to do a better job choosing the friends he exposes his family to.

nitrat October 7, 2014 at 10:55 am

Your old drug buddies are your old drug buddies…

euwe max October 7, 2014 at 11:21 am

Who can you count on at 3am on a Sunday night?

Your old drug buddies!

Ravenel and Graham - Spoiled October 7, 2014 at 10:38 am

“Friends” come a dime a dozen. Ravenel allegedly made threats of harm towards Sic and his family (via text messages directly to Sic). It would have ended very badly for Ravenel. And Sic can hold that over his head until the criminal statute of limitations expire (normally 5 years for federal crimes).

E Norma Scok October 7, 2014 at 2:46 pm

“threats of harm”?? Doesn’t there have to be some truth to a threat to make it credible? Even Folks made fun of it.

I don’t even know “putting someone in a single wide” means—as a threat.

Swamp Fox October 7, 2014 at 3:13 pm

Tell it to a judge. And while doing it, explain the legislative intent behind the wording of the statute. In SC, that kind of threat use to call for 10 years in state prison. Check the legislative history and case law of harassing and threatening phone calls. I don’t write the law. The disconnected criminal idiots in the corrupt statehouse do.

TSIB October 8, 2014 at 11:26 am

“Ravenel allegedly made threats of harm”

Too bad we don’t know what Ravenel’s texts actually said.

euwe max October 7, 2014 at 11:29 am

Have you ever bummed 40 grams of high-quality methamphetamine off a “friend” on a yacht as you encouraged him to run for office, only to move the football when he’s convinced?

E Norma Scok October 7, 2014 at 2:43 pm


TSIB October 8, 2014 at 11:23 am

Who among us has not fallen for friend’s promises to spend millions on his political campaign, and hoped that piles of that sweet campaign swag would come our way, followed by a cozy government-paid chief of staff position and a nice townhouse in DC?

What's up? October 7, 2014 at 9:32 am

Since the dispute was reported here why not a follow-op on that resolution?

That aside, last evening I began to see T. Ravenel ads running on television. ( I swear that baby was trying to get one of his tits in her mouth.)
I found it interesting that the dust up with you, the article from the lowcountry about the Rotary tearing him a new asshole over his convictions and the ads now running to indicate some strategy struggles.

What say you sir?

Will Folks aka Sic October 7, 2014 at 9:39 am

I thought the whole thing was a Southern Charm episode honestly …

Bible Thumper October 7, 2014 at 11:22 am

Give me credit. I called it before the reports of Bravo running his campaign.
Bible Thumper 3 months ago

“So the wire report was a hoax. I thought the T-Rav campaign was a hoax. It must be getting difficult for T-Rav to distinguish the real from the fake.”

Give me credit! October 7, 2014 at 9:40 pm

Good job Nostradumbass.

Bible Thumper October 7, 2014 at 9:43 pm

Me Nostradumbass? I’m just posting from my smart phone.
What’s that say about Will Folks? This is his profession.

Tazmaniac October 7, 2014 at 9:32 am

As a kid in the 60s, I grew up thinking all news was reality reported by honest brokers of non-biased information. In my case, the blindfold was lifted when I saw the reporting of an event that I personally witnessed, but was not invoked in, and had full knowledge of the relevant facts. It is horrible to know about something and then watch it spun to fit a narrative.

idcydm October 7, 2014 at 10:26 am

Do you remember when 60 Minutes installed an incendiary device in a pick-up?

Tazmaniac October 7, 2014 at 10:46 am

As far as National news goes, I view 60 minutes as the beginning of the end.

Yep! October 7, 2014 at 2:38 pm

Reminds me of the Nader stuff on the Corvair….not quite as drastic…but he set up a chain of events that made them look like death machines, and most of the public lapped it up.

Smirks October 7, 2014 at 12:27 pm

In my case, the blindfold was lifted when I saw the reporting of an
event that I personally witnessed, but was not involved in, and had full
knowledge of the relevant facts.

Media is less about informing the people and more about entertaining the audience. Good journalism earns respect, good entertainment earns money.


tomstickler October 7, 2014 at 9:43 am

Maybe I’m seeing a pattern here, but….

Will reveals text messages with Haley and sympathy for her helps her win.

Will reveals text messages with Ravenel, and …?

Mark Petereit October 7, 2014 at 9:59 am

And what? [Snicker.]

The Colonel October 7, 2014 at 10:47 am

“9 gives them lessons in “French love”…

FastEddy23 October 7, 2014 at 9:53 am

… I’m betting its a bit like feeding a pack of wolves.

SC Political Digest October 7, 2014 at 9:54 am

How DARE he call you a political Whore!!!!…Who does Kropf think he is!!!…
We had already figured out what you were a long time ago. What gall.
Tell him, WE, as loyal FITS readers can call you the scum you are (JK)…but he better don’t… (:

Philip Branton October 7, 2014 at 9:58 am

***……meanwhile, over at SPAWAR Atlantic Hearts and Minds Auditorium….***

Captain Burin: ” Ladies and Gentlemen, as you know ….I will be moving on to another Command in the coming weeks. It is imperative that we continue to observe the information flow and dynamics at play to ensure we have a decisive edge in the hearts and minds…..”

XO: ” I wonder why the Post and Courier or the City Paper or Fitsnews is not here covering this “news”……”

Philip Branton: “Well Sir……its the October sweeps cycle before the November elections and by all accounts there is a certain “Haley-Folks swoon fog 2.0″ being recycled…..! ”

XO: ” LOL….the old negative “lure” trick, eh…? ”

Philip Branton: ” It looks like old Wil Folks and Mr. Kropf are both putting on lipstick to get readers to decide which one looks like a better “reporter”…! Ha…they are BOTH slaves to fossil OIL that is getting people killed in Syria and Iraq and Nigeria ……”

XO: ” …Lindsey Graham is killing US all here on the Carolina homefront….and these two weenies won’t question Lin Bennett or track down Nikki Haley to ask if George Washington would turn down any debate…?”

Philip Branton: ” You would think that the least those two media outlets would do would ask someone over at the AIR FORCE Base about aid “flights” for Ebola…??”

XO: ” Don’t you mean the BOKO REBELS ….? “

anonymous October 7, 2014 at 10:10 am

The Post and Courier had ink enough to write about this relatively unimportant story, but not a drop of ink has been shed on the Jean Toal being investigated story – which has been in every other major newspaper in South Carolina.

Once Upon A Time October 7, 2014 at 10:43 am

Exactly. They are protecting her because they, too, are corrupt. The word will spread in Charleston, and any and all who are employed by the P&C get labeled as … .. .

nitrat October 7, 2014 at 10:54 am

Charleston may be such an inbred little community that the P&C is just not interested in a lot of things that show up on other people’s radar.

The Gong Show Died October 7, 2014 at 11:10 am

But its major state news that is of major concern of the voters of South Carolina. To ignore it speaks volumes and cast a huge cloud of suspicion on the Post. The FBI is watching the PC closer now than before, I would think.

CNSYD October 7, 2014 at 11:25 am

Suspicion of what? What federal law has been violated? Has the first amendment been deleted?

Freddy the Lobster October 7, 2014 at 10:21 am

The Post & Courier has no credibility in my opinion.

idcydm October 7, 2014 at 10:23 am

Are they unfair and imbalanced also?

nitrat October 7, 2014 at 10:52 am

They were the only paper in the state to endorse Nikki Haley in 2010…which speaks to some monumentally bad judgment.

idcydm October 7, 2014 at 10:56 am

When a paper does not endorse a politician it gives me cause to think about voting for that politician.

the rainbow warriors October 7, 2014 at 10:58 am

When are you and Smirks getting married? Sparklecity a bridesmaid? :-)

Smirks October 7, 2014 at 12:38 pm

Right after Sandi and Nikki get hitched.

Today is the Future October 7, 2014 at 11:06 am

In todays times, news paper endorsements carry little weight, except with sheeple.

Yes October 7, 2014 at 2:39 pm

Yes, they just don’t have the decency to tell everyone, they pretend otherwise.

Lobeco October 8, 2014 at 10:06 am

The P&C has a great Food section several times a week.

Once Upon A Time October 7, 2014 at 10:31 am

Wasn’t the owner of the Post and Courier accused of being a big time drug user, iter alia?
I remember how they tried to protect a pretty pathetic and corrupt SC Family Court judge who was under investigation. That judge, because of massive public pressure, ended up going down in flames – thrown off the bench right on her face. They’ve seemed to have tried to protect Bobby Harrell, up until the rumors were spreading that the feds were watching.

vicupstate October 7, 2014 at 10:36 am

If there are blurred lines, who is doing the twerking?

Smirks October 7, 2014 at 12:46 pm

Miley Cyrus.

Here’s your complementary barf bag.

The Colonel October 7, 2014 at 10:45 am

“…a guy whose media outlet receives millions of dollar in sales tax breaks…

Does $1,600,000 equal “…millions of dollar…” in sales tax breaks? Because if every single copy of their reported circulation is paid for and billed at SC’s normal sales tax rate that’s what their tax break equals

DOD October 7, 2014 at 11:15 am

Trying catching up from the late 80s to mid 90s mindset ….. People do not buy circulated copies much anymore (except maybe Sunday shoppers wanting the sale flyers). Get with the times, dude. Most read on-line. They subscribe to on-line editions.

The Colonel October 7, 2014 at 11:19 am

Yeah, no duh, that’s sort of my point. At the absolute most, the “millions of dollar” is actually less than $1.6 million and probably much less. And last time I looked Will’s entire production and distribution system is tax free – he didn’t build that!

jaja October 7, 2014 at 11:05 am

Why hasn’t the p&c run any story on the federal investigation into the State House? every other newspaper house and today Bobby Harrells’s brother steped down, who had appointed judges in South Carolina. Apparently these people have no idea what a conflict of interest means.

Fits reader Lee Greenville October 7, 2014 at 11:16 am

I’ve learned much info from this web site previously unknown and NOT reported by the mainstream press!
The “Lexington Ring” illegal gambling which eventually resulted in indictments of a Sheriff, a businessman and a Town Councilman.
The illicit and perverted affair of Richard Eckstrom.
The illicit and sick affair of Bob Peeler resulting in the destruction of 2 families and 4 children.
The narcissistic and unethical activities of Mark Sanford.
The investigations of the General Assembly, and the many acts of malfeasance and lack of ethics by our elected officials, including our Governor.
The main Stream media seems to ignore most of these nefarious activities. I do not understand why, because it identifies these people for the self serving, immoral, and criminals they truly are. They espouse being things they are not in attempts to fool the voters and this web site exposes them for what and whom they really are.
Good for Sic Willie!
Keep up the good work!

mike October 7, 2014 at 8:15 pm

I agree. Folks is easy to kick, but without him there would be no brakes on SC government, which is as corrupt as any.

Thanks Mr. Folks.

Yep! October 7, 2014 at 9:35 pm

+1000000000000 sir.

Edgar October 8, 2014 at 10:03 am

I agree. Fits was the first to expose Jean Toal’s corruption and addiction to power. He gave Rick Brundrett the confidence to publish a few stories in The State until Brad Warthen canned him for his honesty and good work. Keep it up, Sic.

Whats Your Reason October 7, 2014 at 11:31 am

When US Senator Tim Scott refuses to endorse Lindsey Graham, there is good reason not to vote for the boy in the closet.

shakespeare October 7, 2014 at 12:22 pm

me thinks the lady she doth protest too much

Pay per clicks alone? October 7, 2014 at 2:48 pm

Drudge Report reportedly receives $1.50 per 1000 page views per month. Somebody must be kickin’ in a few g’s for friendly stuff. But hey, it’s business.

Goobersmacker October 7, 2014 at 3:01 pm

The Post and Courier is a “left-leaning news outlet”? Seriously? Does Peter Manigault know?
You have no credibility when you promulgate this kind of nonsense.

Is The FBI Watching U? October 7, 2014 at 3:03 pm

You spy for the Post and Courier. Go away. Leave this website now. Do not return if you can not face the truth of your sickness and evil.

Gregory Geddings October 8, 2014 at 7:03 am

Delusional much?

RHood2 October 7, 2014 at 8:07 pm

I generally like what you obtain from your network of sources, but I also think you are a mite too self-congratulatory at times.

And you go to the full-extreme at times as well.

First off, your dispute was private. Private UNTIL you called a cop for assistance in resolving it to everyone’s satisfaction. You have used this standard in the past when you have been accused of diving into other people’s private bidness. The cops do not know about it if it is truly private.

And you continue to harp on about the the taxpayer-subsidized rewards (the Post and Courier receives) receive for (its) subservience.”

You have laid out a nice hypothesis regarding the P&C and its reluctance to challenge Speaker Bobby. But that is where it ends. You have unveiled no evidence, not a bit.

I do not believe it. The tax break isn’t for the P&C, it’s for all newspapers in the state, including local weekly newspapers. There is a tax break for newsprint and ink, just like other industries get a tax break for their raw materials. And there is a tax break on the sale of the newspaper, because nowhere in the nation is there a tax on news. I’d say it’s a First Amendment thing. Tax on news interferes with the consumption of news.

But if you are willing to start charging your readers a few to pay a comparable tax on the information they get from you, I’ll look at changing my objection to a tax on newspapers.

And I understand what really is going on here. You were duped by the ex-con who renounced his US citizenship than pretended to want to be in the US Senate, although that renunciation and his record would disqualify him to anyone who loves America. And he played that con for a cheap, dirty little reality show. And Mr. KNOWITALL Wil Folks got fished in, hook, line and sinker.

I feel your pain, brother. But lashing out at someone else because you were a sucker is just lame.

call the wahhmbulance October 8, 2014 at 11:20 am

The shorter: “WAAAAHHHH!”


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