McCrory’s award? BAAAAD. Award for AP drive-bys? Mooooost Excellent.

download (8)It’s truly interesting how the folks at Low-T HQ (a/k/a The Raleigh News & Observer) handled stories about two different awards in the same issue of their tragically unreadable paper.

Headline #1: “McCrory honors Alamance County sheriff facing federal allegations of racial profiling.” *Ah-Ha! There they go again! Those racist Republicans!  They’ve even got their linguini-spined country club moderate governor perpetrating their trademark racist tactics.*

THAT is the message the steno pool on McDowell Street wants you to take away from you.  What was the real story? The Alamance County sheriff was honored with The Order of The Long Leaf Pine  — the state’s highest honor handed out by the governor to ordinary average citizens of distinction.  The sheriff got the attention of US Attorney Eric Holder for daring to try and enforce the immigration laws the feds will not enforce.  Instead of being lauded for doing his job, this sheriff has been branded — by the nation’s top law enforcement officer — as a ‘racist’ akin to the notorious Bull Connor.  michael

Buried in the story is the fact that McCrory did not even attend the award ceremony.  But he’s IN the story headline !!!

Headline #2: “AP reporter who irked McCrory gets ‘year of excellence’ award.”  *Yeah. Piss off the racist Republican governor and get an award!* Here are the sordid details: 

[…] When Gov. Pat McCrory complained — repeatedly — this week about an Associated Press story, he was complaining about one reporter in particular: Michael Biesecker.

The Raleigh-based reporter not only irked the governor for the story he co-wrote about McCrory receiving a large stock payout from an online mortgage broker, but Biesecker’s coverage of coal ash this year also got under the administration’s skin. McCrory distributed a 34-page report outlining his supposed “mistakes, mischaracterizations and omissions.”[…] 

acIs your job to “irk” your subjects, or provide factual information to your readers / listeners / viewers? The 34-page report of “supposed” mistakes?  Here it is.   It includes a blurb of Biesecker claiming the governor did not take questions from the press — accompanied by a contradicting video from the same day showing McCrory taking press questions.  It also includes a February 17 snippet from Biesecker claiming that DENR secretary John Skvarla briefed McCrory on the coal ash spill — accompanied by an email from a McCrory spokesman to Biesecker on the same day specifically saying Skvarla had not briefed the governor.  (*Yeah, it would “irk” me too if someone was just making up stuff about me and disseminating it to the public.*)  MORE: 

[…] Last week, Biesecker and reporter Mitch Weiss each received “AP North Carolina Staffer of the Year Award: In recognition of a year of excellence” on an engraved plaque. Weiss and Biesecker co-authored the story on McCrory’s stock payout as well as many of the AP’s coal ash stories.

As I pointed out in an earlier post, the “stock payout” story, being celebrated by the media was spun by the drive-bys as a scandal, did not feature even a smidgen of evidence of illegality or even impropriety.  The 34-page document distributed by the governor’s staff shoots a whole lot of holes in the credibility of Biesecker’s coal ash reporting.  If THAT is what the drive-bys consider evidence of “excellence,” what does it say about these people purporting to be First Amendment-protected defenders of the people’s right to know?