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Letter from Mark Baird, owner of KSYC Radio, to John Bowman, Siskiyou Daily News, criticizing Bowman's "Riverkeepers" agenda in John's Sheriff Jon Lopey article

KBC EDITOR: Siskiyou Sheriff Lopey is a Christian, an American citizen, and a sheriff who believes in his oath of upholding the United States Constitution

7/17/12

John (Bowman),

You and I once spoke regarding the need to use valid information for a "news story". The need to check the facts. Two or three independent sources, as my journalism professor used to say. At that time, I asked you whether your allegiance lie with the Klamath Riverkeepers or your new profession. You replied that your goal was to be a journalist. Your article about Sheriff Lopey proves to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that you remain a River Keeper first and have no interest in serious journalism.

I have read your articles since you started writing for the Daily, and have not been impressed with either your loyalty to the truth or your politics.

Glen Martin is a liar with an obvious agenda. An opinion piece like this may be one thing, but front page, coupled with creative use of bold print would lead most people to think of this as a hard news story. You did give Sheriff Lopey a few paragraphs on page 2 but the nature and color of this "story" are clear.

Slander of a Public Figure rises to a high level, but your characterization of Sheriff Lopey, as a man who thinks himself above the law is pretty close to that standard. Yes, it is your characterization. The article is clear. You are quoting Glen Martin as an authoritative source of truth. If this is meant to foster genuine debate, it is very poorly done. Obviously, neither you or Glen Martin, have read the oath of office that every public official and peace officer is bound to obey. Is it wrong that some officials choose to take the oath seriously?

Is it wrong for the Peace Officer who was elected to uphold and defend the public safety of the citizens of Siskiyou County to take his oath seriously?

A hack like Glen Martin as a front page authority on conduct becoming a public official or Peace Officer, now that is wrong!

You and the Daily have gone above and beyond the call of duty in the character assassination of a good man who is trying to serve this county. A man who has served his state and his nation faithfully all of his life.

Had you done the least your job demands and checked Sheriff Lopey's record of service to the public of Siskiyou County and to this nation, you would be ashamed of this article. Glen Martin is an obvious liar and your acceptance of his written word as truth makes you and the Daily complicit in furthering a lie.

John, your socialist politics are, quite frankly, of no interest to me. You have the absolute right to your opinion and Sheriff Lopey would defend that right to his death, as would I. However, coloring your opinions and calling them journalism, is a discredit to your self and your paper. Distaste for the truth and for unbiased reporting has cost your paper some followers and supporters.

This latest bit of Yellow Journalism however, is nothing short of character assassination of a fine man, a great American, a decorated war hero and a life long public servant.

I realize now, you answer to your masters at the River Keeper Organization and the other organizations down river. when you accepted the job as a reporter you should have become a servant of the truth.

This article has cost the Siskiyou Daily a reader, and a supporter. My radio station, and I, will no longer participate in any cooperative efforts with the Siskiyou Daily News unless and until you are terminated from your position. Further, I will urge all with whom I associate to terminate support for "our" local paper until a truthful reporter can be found to replace you. I am sorry to see that you have chosen this path, I like you, and thought you had potential. I had hoped you would find your way to the truth and become a great reporter. None of the readers expect to see everything our own way, but we do and should expect fair, truthful and balanced reporting.

Respectfully,
Mark Baird
Owner, KSYC Radio
 

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