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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Dear Liberty Dispatch

It is very interesting to see the following Advocate online comment after the story, about the firing of Liberty County sheriff's deputy Larry Allen : " I guess we'll have to wait until i-dineout or Akin print the rest of the story. All we have here is coffee shop and beauty shop gossip. Shame on you Advocate.”

I don't know if this comment is meant sincerely or sarcastically, but please don't waste your time trying to clear up sloppy newspaper articles like this one. It is awful dang slow in the newsroom at The Cleveland Advocate when we see all of this bloviating about a couple of anonymously mailed and seemingly vindictive accusations a husband sent about their ex wife (allegedly). At least the paper could have waited and connected all of the dots. The reader is never told why Allen was dismissed. Sure we can guess, but is that what this newspaper has reduced its "reporting" to? The end of the article leaves the reader wondering if any laws were broken. Well, Advocate Editor at the paper, were there any laws broken?

Another thing we must wonder about is The Advocate's relationship to Commissioner Hunt. Why is it that whenever I hear Melvin Hunt is checking on someone, that I suspect that he is really just checking to see if they are on his "hit list". Rumors about a heavy handed Hunt wanting to whack Sheriff Patterson and install his own personal favorite (Royce Wheeler) as Sheriff are already buzzing around the county. The reasons for calling Hunt in on this are pretty far fetched, but you could just imagine hearing his tires sliding into The Advocate parking lot after he was called. Hunt is a master manipulator who has honed out a long political career by keeping his ears to the ground and weighing in on backroom out of the public eye issues (along with using county assets to ingratiate him with certain voters).

It appears from the feedback the paper has posted that most people would rather this story been reserved for the employees of The Cleveland Advocate to talk about around the water cooler, and more resources devoted to the mystery surrounding the guns stolen out of the Cleveland Police Department. Or we would love to hear a follow up report on the death of the retired Hardin school teacher and how his assets were "inherited" by the Fairchild brothers (who are not related to the deceased, but one was there in a "failed attempt" to save the teacher). Patterson's willingness to respond personally rather than hide behind a very tight-lipped Steve Green is refreshing compared to the stolen gun case and the retired teacher case. People want to know things like how this man Allen was fired while Deputy Kelly's case continues to have no actions taken. Some of us are very willing to believe there are a few bad apples in law enforcement who may misuse their connections, but if that is now an accepted fact, we want further investigation of former Sheriff's deputy Chip Fairchild's connection to the estate of the deceased teacher.

But again Liberty Dispatch, please don't waste your time trying to clean up another story where the Advocate Editor has acted like Chicken Little about a perceived "scandal". Keep on fearlessly looking into the real problems the county has. The Advocate newspaper runs to people like Melvin Hunt and Mike Little for help to uncover scandals? When will our local media stop letting the big fish go while they chase after the little fish?

Lastly, why don’t you question Royce Wheeler about hush money and protection money he has taken???

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