Shades of Laura Leslie: The N&O and the art of the two-minute smear

We learned a lot about political coverage at Jim Goodmon’s WRAL by watching Laura Leslie’s Facebook account.     Leslie is an unabashed, image_151unashamed fire-breathing hard-left feminazi.  But she is presented to us by WRAL as a fair and balanced political reporter.

Over at the The N&O, Barry Saunders is the in-house equivalent of Leslie.  He’s a columnist — so, he’s allowed to throw some opinion into his work.  But he is so focused, so obsessed with race that I’m sure he throws fits over the presence of milk, eggs, salt, mayonnaise, or vanilla ice cream in the company lunch room.  

Barry has been accused of being little more than a Democrat Party hit man with a byline.  This week, he tipped his hand and pretty much confirmed that suspicion.  We got our hands on an email authored by Saunders two days ago:

From: []
Sent: Wednesday, June 22, 2016 5:51 PM
To: Rep. Bert Jones
Subject: food stamps
barry saunders
215 s. mcdowell st.
raleigh, NC 27601-1331

June 22, 2016

The Honorable Bert Jones Jr.
North Carolina House of Representatives
300 North Salisbury Street
Raleigh, NC 27603

Dear Representative Jones:

Rep. Jones, this is Barry Saunders of the News & Observer and I’m writing about your bill regarding food stamps and lottery winnings.  What led you to believe this was a huge issue? Are there lots of food stamp – SNAP – recipients who are winning the lottery? If you could calm or answer these questions via e-mail, I’appreciate it very much. My phone number is 919-656-4365. Thanks.


barry saunders

sinking ship(We didn’t edit a lick of that.)   Pay close attention to the time stamp on that email.

Barry is referring to HB1047 — a bill to stop social service recipients from collecting state lottery winnings — sponsored by Jones.  Jones’s legislation was likely inspired by THIS story out of Michigan and THIS ONE out of Massachusetts.   Ol’ Barry apparently didn’t see the need to do a little Googling — a little research.  He SMELLED racism and he was going to root it out.

At 5:53 pm — exactly two minutes after the above email was sent The N&O published a pretty vicious hit piece against Jones authored by Saunders.  So, it looks like it really didn’t matter what Jones said in response via email.  Saunders and his comrades were locked and loaded with that stink bomb.

Of course, Rep. Jones didn’t take this lying down:

From: Rep. Bert Jones
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2016 9:59 AM
To: Rep. Bert Jones
Cc: @House/Republican/Members; @Senate/Republican/Members
Subject: Mr. Barry Saunders, News and Observer620


I just wanted to share the following message which confirms what most of you already know… but just to inform you of yet another specific instance of the biased and shoddy reporting we have come to expect.  

This reporter, Barry Saunders from the News and Observer, emailed our office yesterday at 5:51 pm, just two minutes before posting a very negative hit piece against me personally and my motives in the passage of HB1047 – the bill requiring lottery winners to be reported to DHHS for crosschecks on food stamp recipients.  Of course he also failed to report that the bill passed the House by a rather wide margin and with some bipartisan support.

This is what we are dealing with – people with no credibility or sense of fairness in reporting… as I know most of you are already aware.  Just another example for your mental file.

Best regards,

Bert Jones

Representative Bert Jones
416A Legislative Office Building
300 North Salisbury Street
Raleigh, North Carolina  27603
(919) 733-5779

19 thoughts on “Shades of Laura Leslie: The N&O and the art of the two-minute smear

  1. I wish Jones and the others in State government would have the same diligence when it comes to corporate welfare of various types. Let’s start with Duke Power for instance. It openly ignores its slow coal ash pollution of people’s drinking water, then a huge release of the same poison pulses through our water. They get a nice big fine (not big enough) ONLY to have the fine Drastically reduced by the DEQ. All the while arranging to have rate payers absorb the cost of expensive clean up of the mess.

    1. That is funny, considering there have been very few ill effects of the Duke Power coal ash “disaster”.

      What duke really needs to do is just sell the ash to a cement company. I am surprised this avenue of recouping some costs is not high on their list.

      1. Human cancer IS the polluter’s friend. It can take long exposures to develop. I am sure rural people using well water hate that they are drinking water that has been polluted with coal ash contaminants including arsenic, chromium, cobalt, antimony, boron, barium, iron, manganese, pH, thallium.
        NOT very funny to people.

        1. Other than when you consider all of those elements are prevalent in the soil already, and already in the water that is filtered by that soil. The coal ash hysteria is just one more Regressive Leftist issue to blame Republicans. Where was the outrage when Dumplin’ and Sleazley and your democrat party were looking the other way and setting up this cause of the day?

          1. Trace amounts of those elements do exist in the environment. The harm comes when they are concentrated, through our burning of coal, into a localized substrate and exposed to the water table and streams. This increases the harmful exposure to living organisms exponentially.

          2. Other than when they are washed away by trillions of gallons of water over a huge watershed….

          3. When a spill occurs, or even leaks, it is not diluted by “trillions” of gallons of water. It remains concentrated for a long distance. Over a considerable amount of time and distance those concentrations become lower.

          4. Ok, lets go with hundreds of billions then which is what happens when the river flows, and more so when it rains.

        2. Gee, those are the same ingredients found in your everyday, run-of-the-mill dirt. Wonder how the “rural people” feel about that?

          1. They probably have a case of who really cares seeing as how it all washes away and dilutes with the substances….already there.

  2. This is a perfect response by Jones. There needs to be more publicity of situations like this where the “journalist” already has their view set and the story written regardless of the facts. Although with the way the Regressive Leftist media is bleeding red ink, we may not have to be concerned with these situations much longer.

  3. Journalists are a rare and dying breed these days. What populates Big Media is mostly propagandists. They care more about spewing their propaganda on their preconceived issue positions and partisan positions. Propagandist scum like Laura Leslie and Barry Summers are just channeling Josef Goebbels.

    Republican candidates ought to be slamming them for what they are constantly, like Jesse Helms used to do, not kowtowing to them. Polls show that most Americans are aware that Big Media are ideological hacks, but it is helpful to keep reminding them of it.

    One of the big problem with the GOP ”leadership”, or should I say spineless lack of leadership, in Congress is their fear of the media and kowtowing to them. That needs to stop and the best way to accomplish that is to get some new leadership with a backbone.

    1. They have always been that way. What distinguishes this era is that the Regressive Leftists own and/or control the vast majority of the media outlets these days. Throughout much of US history you had partisan news outlets, but you would have one that catered to each side. Just look at the era of the Lincoln-Douglas debates and you can see the difference as there were newspapers that reported one position or the other. We now live in an era where it is hard to say if we are lucky, the internet has opened the doors to the ability to get to true information where you do not need the drive by media…..but you do not really have that major outlet that you can go to any longer. Me, I only go to the local news to sometimes watch the weather….and not to WRAL as you are sure to get some globalclimatewarmingchange hooey there.

  4. Rep. Jones has been a bright spot in the House since his election in 2010. We need more like him.

  5. Bert Jones is simply phenomenal. Most Republicans are so stupid when it comes to anything. Bert is the exception to the rule. Your typical Republican legislator has no concept of how to fight the left; they are about as bad as the Washington GOP Establishment which simply caves to Obama on every issue. Let’s make Bert Jones our next speaker!

    1. He needs to get this out just as widely as possible. Offer the N&O an op edit in response, for example and see if they publish it.

  6. TDH, I ‘m sure you saw where Jim Goodmon’s WRAL is going to create some sort of Opinion Forum social media platform to be moderated by Seth Whozit. …. anything owned by a demented zealot like Jim G is sure to be “fair & balanced” … Right?

  7. Wow the timing.

    I just finished writing a piece for Heartland Institute on HB 1047 and have an interview with Rep. Jones in it.

    It’s actually not a bad bill and makes fiscal sense in terms of stewardship of public funds and seeing that money gets to those who need it most.

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