Circle-Slash Pundits

In a recent blog post, a Metro Pulse blogger decided to "report" on a press conference held by Knox County Mayoral candidate Mr. Ezra Maize. Mr. Maize is running as a Democrat. [The March 29 blog post, "Democratic Candidate Cries Foul," was written by Frank Carlson.]

In Mr. Maize's press conference, he pointed out the obvious lack of press coverage of Democratic candidates. He said local media and other platforms do not seem to report on Democratic candidates or reflect upon their service, qualifications, and contributions.

He referred to an article in the Knoxville News Sentinel that only mentioned the two Republican Tims at a recent Expo—but Democratic candidates and an independent candidate were present at that same conference and the KNS ignored them.

Mr. Maize said "media and other platforms play an important role in electoral politics … influencing the perception of a candidate's leadership ability and viability."

Mr. Maize is right. The press silence on GOP alternatives is telling. And it does a disservice to the voters because there is a difference in platforms. As Mr. Maize said in his conference, in these trying times, the county needs to understand their alternatives to move forward.

Metro Pulse apparently thinks it is newsworthy that a local pundit, not a candidate, twists the point of Mr. Maize's important comments to say that the Knox County Democratic Party does not support African American Democratic candidates. It is telling that the Metro Pulse quotes a pundit who is not running for office, is not a candidate, and has not requested or sought KCDP support.

Here is one blog that actually did some reporting: Knoxviews' quick search of candidate names in the KNS [website] shows an inordinate emphasis on GOP candidates—all the way from governor to local races.

This is a sad irony, given the recent editorial by KNS editor Jack McElroy decrying the lack of Democratic candidates in local races. Perhaps Mr. McElroy thinks more Democratic candidates should run for office so his reporters can ignore them.

Electoral politics requires fair and balanced reporting. Citizens need to know their options. This applies to all races. Let's take Mr. Maize's comments seriously and demand fair reporting about alternatives to the GOP.

Gloria Johnson,

Knox County Democratic Party Chair

Knoxville