and Roler have been furiously pumping-out "news" stories and
commentaries focusing on sheriff Gil Gilbertson since before he was
sheriff. In fact prior to the primaries the Daily Courier supported
then undersheriff Brian Anderson, and after Gilbertson won the right
to a run-off with Anderson, the Courier turned up the heat. While trying
to look into Gilbertson's work history, it has been alleged that Shaun
Hall tried to steal Gil Gilbertson's personal files. It was after this
incident that Hall wrote an article calling into question Gilbertson's
ethics saying that he decieved the public with statements about his
past, but in fact and supported by a phone call later placed to Gilbertson,
Hall was never even able to contact any of Gilbertson's past employers
making Hall's article nothing more than a politically-motivated supposition.
US~Observer then printed the article, "'F--- the Public' Says Brian
Anderson - Affidavits cite Anderson as saying, 'citizens get what they
pay for'" and the Courier's response, also having the affidavits,
was to publish a story that called into question the validity of the
affidavits as they were provided without signatures to protect the individuals
from reprisal. The Courier purposefully published the lie that since
they didn't have signatures they weren't valid. Whenever a notary puts
their seal on an affidavit it is a legal document that has been signed,
period. The Courier is guilty of trying to do damage control for Brian
Anderson. And, even though they never formally supported a candidate
the slant put on their articles were obvious.
Roler admitted it himself in a meeting where discussions of the affidavit
articles were had, says Paul Walter of NewsWithViews.com. "I talked
with Roler and he was saying how the US~Observer is so in-your-face
and then he went on to say, 'at least we're more subtle about it.' That's
what he said!" Walter stated. He maintains that Roler knew the
affidavits were good and just wanted to utilize the public’s naiveté
to spin the story for the Courier's man.
more recent headlines like "Gilbertson silences employees"
and "Press should be a watchdog, not sheriff's lapdog" along
with front-page photos of the sheriff which have obviously been chosen
to portray Gilbertson in an unflattering manner, it is apparent the
Daily Courier is trying to soil Gilbertson and make him appear as if
he is nothing better than a Dave Daniel - which is absolutely furthest
from the truth. And even though the Daily Courier has recently come-out
in support of a proposed levy to secure money for the sheriff's department
should alternative funding for the lost O&C payments not transpire,
their continued personal assault against Gilbertson has the potential
to be counter productive to the levy's success. However, many citizens
who are supportive of the positive changes Gilbertson has already employed
are seeing it for what it is - a "demeaning" personal attack.
As Patricia Auld's letter to the editor published in the Daily Courier
asked, "why does the Grants Pass Daily Courier, and Shaun Hall
in particular, continue efforts to demean, criticize and mock the voters'
choice for sheriff?"
to one Daily Courier employee who has overheard inter-office phone conversations
the current row between Hall and Gilbertson stems from the episode before
the election and the subsequent article. According to this employee
Gilbertson no longer wishes to have Shaun Hall report on the sheriff's
department due to Hall's diligence in uncovering questionable acts.
And, Dennis Roler made it clear that Shaun Hall would continue covering
the sheriff's department when he wrote, "as for this paper, it
can't let government officials dictate which reporters cover them,"
even when he had been informed by Gilbertson himself of Hall's attempt
to obfiscate with Gilbertson's personal files. This calls into question
the methods the Courier finds appropriate to obtain their news and also
the level to which they will go to cover-up Hall's wrong-doings within
their own office.
a letter obtained by the US~Observer written by Sheriff Gilbertson,
he shows his obvious frustration with a publication which, for whatever
reason, is out to harass and debase.
media is a powerful tool that can easily sway public opinion. Whatever
happened to just presenting truthful facts and let the reader draw
their own conclusions? It seems the Courier finds it necessary to
provide information that only proves their agenda by weaving enough
bits of truth into the articles to make it believable.
am not looking for a fight, especially with people with lots of ink
and have the ability to say whatever they please without regard for
truth or fairness. I have enough on my plate to do without wasting
taxpayer's money responding to misinformation campaigns.
won't I talk to reporter Shaun Hall? Because I caught him stealing
two of my original documents from the Department of State. And, because
absolutely everything he does is negative ... he couldn't care less
about the truth as long as it gives him a scoop and sells papers.
later attacked me personally using the newspaper, which probably cost
me some votes by inferring that I was dishonest - that I falsely represented
myself. Interestingly enough, the issue was over the two documents
he tried to steal. Afterwards he called and left a message on my recorder
(which I saved and intend on playing to the public over the radio)
stating that now he needed my help because he was unable to do any
background on me. How can you call someone a liar without any proof
Dennis Roler continues to chip away by twisting and/or not tell(ing)
the whole truth. Did you read anywhere in his recent editorial where
he threatened to not support the County's proposed levy, unless I
cooperate with him? He would risk the safety of the county residents
only to control the sheriff. Where is the wisdom - or ethics - in
this same meeting, I advised Roler that he could send absolutely anyone
from his paper - including the person that emptied his wastebaskets
- and I would provide them with whatever information they asked for.
I simply would not provide information to Shaun Hall. He (Roler) did
not print that in his recent editorial either."
fact in Roler's February 14 commentary "Press should be a watchdog,
not sheriff's lapdog" Roler does make a threat saying, "...
Gil Gilbertson has a responsibility to get his agency's news, good or
bad, to the public in a timely manner, not try to control and manipulate
it as he is now. This is especially true as residents prepare to decide
on a levy request critical to the Sheriff's Office in May. They aren't
likely to approve it if they feel the sheriff isn't telling them all
the facts." Keep in mind that it is Daily Courier reporter Shaun
Hall who thus far has manipulated facts and now editor Dennis Roler
is trying to control the situation. So, the threat is very clear, Gilbertson
can either play along or it will appear that he isn't being forthcoming
with all the facts in their articles. Further proof of the Courier’s
"subtle" political agenda at work.
for Gilbertson's statement that Hall "couldn't care less about
the truth as long as it gives him a scoop and sells papers," it
does appear that Hall has a practice of creating his own news. It was
Shaun Hall who after he was told to leave by the owner went to city
officials telling them serious structural work was being done by Larry
Lacey on his building on the corner of 5th and "G," spurring
the city to issue a cease and desist as well as an order to vacate which
not only affected Lacey but closed down several other businesses as
well, including Hunan Garden and Shiki Sushi Bar, which have both since
reopened. According to Lacey Shaun Hall did it just to create some news.
But, it ultimately created a legal issue the city will likely be mired
in with Lacey for quite some time. Whatever the feelings for Lacey,
the fact remains that Hall instigated the news he wrote about.
maintains that his department will be a transparent one open to anyone
with a question - with the sole exclusion of Shaun Hall - and there
have been no other complaints by news agencies accept those brought
by the Daily Courier. In fact there has been nothing but praise. According
to Illinois Valley News, "Sheriff Gilbertson has been responsive
to all information requests we've put into his office. And, his decision
to serve as the press liason for his department is consistent with most
the recent federal bid to secure monies for O&C funded counties
fails this month the financial crisis will still be looming for the
county and the last thing needed is several rogue reporters pursuing
their own agenda hoping to portray a good sheriff as a bad one, especially
when Gilbertson is doing such an outstanding job for having inherited
a department which was previously so poorly managed.
Courier's deceptions don't just revolve around the sheriff, however,
and one citizen commented that he stopped believing the accuracy of
the Courier after they had written a story in regard to several individuals
with samurai swords, which a friend of his was personally involved,
and it was completely inaccurate. In fact there are numerous articles
that prove their deceptions and should the Courier ever establish a
searchable database of all articles it would be quite revealing. Perhaps
when they unveil their new website it will have this feature.
a daily newspaper doesn't give a publication anymore credibility than
any other type of news publication. It doesn't make it anymore "mainstream,"
or truthful, or politically unmotivated and if you believe it does they
have you already, and their practice of printing half-truths and innuendo
works to secure that yellow journalism is alive and well in Josephine
Note: In all fairness to the Daily Courier we have to give them credit
for doing at least one thing right, Dennis Roler has asked the City
Manager to fire City Attorney Ulys Stapleton. We couldn't agree more.
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