Friday, October 16, 2009

Newpaper's advisory panel made up of stereotypes

The Springfield News-Leader editors Sunday introduced readers to the paper's latest Community Editorial Advisory Board.
As we take a look at these folks who are said to represent the Ozarks, see if you notice the same things I noticed. Here they are:

--Leslie Clary, 26, Nixa, social worker for a nonprofit agency providing services to people with disabilities. "Being a social worker, I tend to agree with the Democratic ideology of promoting social welfare programs and fighting social injustice, but I don't always go along party lines," the paper quoted her as saying. Here’s a youngster who has probably never worked in the private sector who acknowledges she usually wants to promote welfare. I wonder if she has a clue where the money to fund welfare comes from?
--Jennie L. Crain, 54, Nixa, a Republican and a trade school graduate, Her quote: “I bring a fair mind and willingness to listen to all sides with respect." Is this our token Republican?
--Duncan Craycroft, 52, a Democrat transplanted to Springfield from Orange County, Calif. "I am for health care, education, the environment, equality, gay rights, veteran support, transparency and accountability,“ the paper quoted him as saying. “I am against war of choice, intolerance, fundamentalism, self-serving politicians and the shrill rhetoric of talk radio." He’s a disabled volunteer at a hospital. Well, I applaud him for being a volunteer, but this guy represents everything I dislike about California transplants to Missouri.
--David Gibson, 63, Bolivar a retired machinist who claims to be an independent and declares himself "fed up with politicians." His quote: "I have an opinion and I usually let people know what it is. I can be persuaded with information based on facts." I don’t put much stock in “independents.” I respect liberals more than independents. At least liberals know what they believe in. Independents wait until someone comes along to persuade them.
--Wayne Groner, 70, Battlefield, a Republican who is a retired TV news anchor, Missouri state representative, college fundraising exec, freelance writer, and co-author of two books. Well, maybe we have a real conservative here, after all.
--Dr. Kenneth Herfkens, 70, of Springfield, retired internist and cardiologist. "I am a centrist Democrat with a strong interest in health care reform," he said in the paper. Here’s a wealthy doctor who as a Democrat likely will have no qualms about promoting ways to get into your pocket through tax increases.
--Sarah Harrington Johnson, 40, Ozark, a lawyer who chooses instead to stay home with two children. Another transplant, this one from South Carolina, Johnson described herself in the paper as a "former Democrat turned conservative Republican primarily due to fiscal concerns." Here’s more hope that a conservative viewpoint will be heard.
--Ian Mackey, 22, Springfield, a Head Start teacher. "I am certainly left of center, yet I view politics more as a battle of wills than ideas,” he told the paper. Notice here that we have another young liberal in a public sector job; probably hates profit.
--Viktor Markus, 63, Ozark, retired Department of Defense employee who says he’s a conservative who wants to serve on the advisory board because he believes "there are a lot of misconceptions about what federal employees contribute to society and the benefits they receive, especially in the area of health and retirement." I don’t know what to think about this guy. I guess he wants us to love bureaucrats more than we do.
--Nicole Pulliam, 30, Ozark, a Democrat, who works for Teletech as a member representative for United Health Group. Not enough information here to figure this panel member out.
--Brad Sturges, 47, Springfield is vice president /general manager of Springfield Freightliner. He says he is a "middle of the road conservative." Well, here’s an actual, by-golly businessman on the committee.
--Tammy Webb, 33, Springfield, a Democrat who lives as an openly gay woman. She said, "I feel I have an insight into many areas of the community that others don't have." I’d say that I agree with here. I’d say that I’m not to interested in knowing about some of those areas.

For the most part, the advisory panel looks to me to be made up of stereotypes: young liberals who have no clue about business, a retired bureaucrat wanting to try to improve the public perception of government workers, an independent with a self-admitted big mouth, a Califoreigner transplanted here who wants to promote all the crap that is bringing down his home state, and, of course, the openly gay member.
I’m not sure how often this panel of experts will meet or exactly what they will do. We’ll have to try to keep an eye on the Springfield paper.

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