Tagged: Melinda McGraff

Hatchet job on Lt. Gov. Reeves and shoddy journalism

I admit to being surprised on July 7 when I first read the Clarion-Ledger story that all but accused Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves of putting political pressure on the Mississippi Department of Transportation regarded a road project on Lakeland Drive (Hwy 25) that involves the gated community where Reeves and his family live in Flowood. Mississippi Today soon piled on with its own story about the issue. In my opinion the Clarion-Ledger story was clearly shoddy journalism. I was even more surprised the byline on the story was that of Geoff Pender, political editor of the Clarion-Ledger. It was not long after I read Pender’s story when I received a comment about the story, from someone not in the Reeves camp, saying the Clarion-Ledger was “out to get” Reeves. If you want more balanced accounts and more accurate accounts of this very hot issue, I suggest reading the column below by Jim Prince, publisher of the Neshoba County Democrat and the following column by Alan Lange, owner and editor of Y’all Politics.

http://neshobademocrat.com/MobileContent/EDITORIAL/Editorial/Article/EDITORIAL-Hood-deep-fries-Tater-Tot/7/302/43614

 

http://yallpolitics.com/2018/07/31/internal-documents-show-mdot-execs-repeatedly-whitewashed-staff-assessment-of-safety-being-the-driver-behind-lakeland-frontage-road

 

And what about MDOT? I have known Central District Highway Commissioner Dick Hall  for many years. He is a good man, a good public servant and I have a lot of respect for him. However, during the recent Neshoba County Fair, I listened to Hall’s interview on the J.T. Show on Supertalk Radio. I later read reports of his speech at the Fair. Considering both the interview and speech, it would not surprise me if Hall received a thank you note from Democrat Attorney General Jim Hood.

Why is this type of shoddy journalism a problem, and even unfair? The original report in the Clarion-Ledger, was followed by the story in Mississippi Today. Naturally, the story by Pender was picked up by the Associated Press and published in other newspapers and broadcast media across the state. Attorney General Jim Hood said he would investigate the allegations of political pressure. Hood investigating in itself is a joke. But what if Hood’s investigation turns up no proof that Reeves, members of his staff or others applied political pressure? What if all the allegations prove false? Most people won’t remember the subsequent stories. People are quick to believe any allegation against a public official or politician. The damage has already been done.

Commissioners should MDOT executive director

And what about Melinda McGraft, executive director of MDOT? During the current controversy involving MDOT, press reports and Lt. Gov. Reeves, Hall praised McGraft as an outstanding professional engineer. I don’t doubt that for a minute. But McGraft is more than an engineer. She is executive director of MDOT. For her allegations of political pressure and comments to the press, Hall and the other two highway commissioners should have the balls to fire McGraft.

“Media is corrupt. It’s chosen a side.”

U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes, Republican of California and chairman of the House Select on Intelligence, recently said this in an interview with The Wall Street Journal: “Today’s media is corrupt. It’s chosen a side.” Of course, Congressman Nunes was talking about the national media. However, the same journalism plant is growing in Mississippi. A few years ago when Haley Barbour was governor of Mississippi, Barbour gave his usual speech before a huge crowd at MEC’s annual Hobnob event. During his speech Barbour commented about the “Clarion liar”. I chuckled to myself as I thought his remark would not be reported in the Clarion-Ledger’s report of his speech. Of course, it was not in the newspaper’s story the next day.

The Scary Democrat Duck

 

American Civil Liberties Union calls for protest rally at Mississippi Governor’s Mansion

The scary Democrat duck first appeared on my Facebook page, and it was quickly determined the duck was a Democrat because it wanted free food and water. That was confirmed when the duck received endorsements from Sam Hall, executive editor of the Clarion-Ledger, the news staffs of the Clarion-Ledger and Mississippi Today, Bernie Sanders. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and the newest star of the radical left, socialist Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez of New York City. Less than 24 hours later, the scary Democrat duck appeared again (see bottom photo) when he wanted more handouts and free water. I quickly heard from Ricky Cole who noted the duck was a Muscovy Duck and Cole charged I was “harboring an illegal.” As Cole is a former chairman of the Mississippi Democratic Party, I was surprised Cole referred to the duck as illegal, instead of just being undocumented. On Facebook I then heard from Wayne Brown, retired Southern District Highway Commissioner.  Brown is a professional engineer and suggested I build a pond for the duck. Brown kindly said he would donate his engineering services to build the pond. With those free labor services, I decided to check to see if the Mississippi Department of Transportation would provide the remainder of the funds to build a pond for the scary Democrat duck. Melinda McGraff, executive director of MDOT, said she would first have to check with Sam Hall and Geoff Pender of the Clarion-Ledger to determine if the pond would be built within 433 miles of the home of Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves in Flowood, Mississippi.

Did the scary Democrat duck vote for Thad Cochran in the 2014 Republican primary against Chris McDaniel?

Will the duck be a factor in the 2018 contest for the U.S. Senate between Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, Chris McDaniel and Mike Espy? McDaniel reportedly is claiming the duck was one of the Democrats who supported former Sen. Cochran by voting in the 2014 GOP primary. There are also reports Hyde-Smith called the White House begging for President Trump to endorse her because the scary Democrat duck could seriously impact her candidacy. Espy maintains he is not so sure our duck friend is a Democrat. Espy apparently thinks the duck resembles one of the federal prosecutors when Espy was indicted on 39 counts of accepting more than $35,000 in gifts, trips and favors. Espy was forced to resign as Secretary of Agriculture after he was appointed to that post by then President Bill Clinton.

Of course, the ACLU is undeterred and still plans to hold a protest rally outside the Governor’s Mansion in Jackson. The Clarion-Ledger and Mississippi Today promise to send 282 reporters to cover the protest. The keynote speaker is expected to be Attorney General Jim Hood who will say everything is just ducky with the scary Democrat duck.