SMN needs to practice balanced journalism

To the Editor:

I was born and raised in Cashiers and have always disliked the phrase “country come to town.” Unfortunately that is the exact phrase that came to mind as I read Scott McLeod’s column “Pope is pulling the strings in state politics.” (Oct. 12 SMN,

That you, Mr. McLeod, chose to shove the left-wing, ultra-liberal New Yorker magazine article down our throats is “country come to town.” To me that means that you have been duped into believing that the big city reporter’s ideas, impressions and comments in the magazine’s Oct. 10 story, “State for Sale,” must be better than our own in rural North Carolina.

Why do you suppose the New Yorker chose North Carolina as a “state for sale?” Could it be that the Democrats and Obama need this state to win in 2012, and a little discrediting of N.C. Republicans might help?

Nearly half of your editorial is direct quotes from the New Yorker article. However, prior to the quotes you give us New Yorker writer Mayer’s credentials, which are her writings about the Kochs, who are New York billionaire Republican donors, and her appearances on left-wing radio and TV programs.

Then you make your own comments on the 2010 Snow-Davis race that in itself is a smear campaign on Raleigh millionaire Art Pope. Your position appears to be, I guess because the New Yorker says it is so, that a powerful political benefactor is exclusive to Republican candidates.

In the 2010 election North Carolina Democrats spent $18 million to Republican $16 million. Perhaps we can look forward to your investigative reports on the Democrat side about the “rich” N.C. businesses, the massive Union, celebrity and George Soros donors to Democrat candidates. Eighteen million dollars does not come from North Carolinians dropping money in the pot at the their local shopping center.

Also it should be quite easy for you or your reporters to research the sources of the enormous contributions in the millions to Democrat Heath Shuler’s two campaigns for the U.S. House of Representatives. We’d read some exceptional journalism on the part of The Smokey Mountain News if you publish a counterpoint, i.e., comments from Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, who is maligned in the New Yorker article as the beneficiary of great sums Pope spent on “flyers, TV and radio ads.”

To my mind I’d rather have campaign money from a successful North Carolina businessman than Hollywood hotshots, California kooks, union thugs and the Chicago mafia.

You end your editorial with “All voters can do is to try to stay informed and keep tabs on who is pulling the levers behind the curtain.” Unless The Smoky Mountain News begins to practice a balanced brand of journalism, we voters will not be informed by you. However, I am still in hopes that I will read original political material from our Western North Carolinians, not the big city slickers.

Shirley Slaughter


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