Saturday, June 16, 2007

New Nebraska Network Libeled in Omaha World-Herald

by Kyle Michaelis
I'll admit it. I'm pissed off. In Thursday's Omaha World-Herald, the state's most powerful newspaper published a letter to the editor that had no other purpose but to undermine me and to delegitimize the work we've been doing for almost 2-1/2 years at the New Nebraska Network.

What's most appalling is that the letter I'd written last week to which this responded was published by the World-Herald with all criticism of the World-Herald's biased and self-serving coverage of the 2007 legislature censored. Yet, they've now published a direct, libelous assault on this website without even having the common courtesy of providing its name or its Internet address that readers might judge its merit for themselves.

Shameless cowards! See for yourself:

Public Pulse, OWH 06/14/2007
CONSIDER THE SOURCE
In his June 8 letter, Kyle Michaelis called Republican state senators partisan "puppets" and implied that Gov. Dave Heineman is so devious that his arm of influence could "threaten the independence of our Legislature as a separate branch of government."

Kyle Michaelis is lecturing us on partisanship? That's rich. For those unaware, Michaelis is president of the Young Democrats of Nebraska and runs a very liberal blog, which he uses to make destructive and personal negative attacks on Republican elected officials.

In my opinion, Michaelis is exhibiting unprincipled hypocrisy. The next time he considers giving a sanctimonious lecture about the perils of political partisanship, I think he ought to first look in his own mirror.


Lloyd J. Smith, Lincoln
So, let's get this straight - because I'm politically active and have a blog, I shouldn't be allowed to express a personal opinion? I've never been anything but upfront about my partisanship at NNN, but I've also never been anything less than absolutely respectful and supportive of the nonpartisan ideal in Nebraska politics.

The political reality of our near-total Republican domination demands a viable Democratic alternative for the good of the state, and I will fight like hell to see that Nebraska's middle-class and working families have that alternative. But, I have never allowed this site's purpose to be clouded or manipulated by purely partisan machinations.

In fact, in terms of honesty with my readers that is the true stuff of that mythical journalistic integrity, I will put my record up against that of the World-Herald any day of the week.

This liar Lloyd J. Smith, as well as the Omaha World-Herald, can both go to hell for this inexcusable insult to this website and myself without any recourse or possibility of correcting their outrageous accusations.

"Destructive and personal negative attacks on Republican elected officials" - are you kidding me? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? This website has always been dedicated to the ideas, the votes, and the policies affecting Nebraska's future. I can't even say what a slap-in-the-face it is to be maligned and demeaned like this after years of working so hard to avoid the easy temptations of personal attacks on those officials with whom I disagree politically.

I stand by my record, and I am prouder than ever of the work we have done and the work we will do. This state's insufferable slaves to the Republican status quo are not used to being challenged - they're not used to being called out on their hypocrisy. So, they'll use strategies and baseless accusations like those you see in this Letter to the Editor to avoid facing the truth and to keep the wool pulled over the peoples' eyes. They couldn't be more obvious, with a local Republican blog just expresssing its delight at using precisely these underhanded tactics to attack me and this site because they are so morally bankrupt and incapable of competing in the realm of actual ideas.

I can handle their nonsense. I expect it and have gladly suffered their pathetic previous attempts to kill the messenger. But, now the World-Herald has given them voice in what's probably the widest public arena in the state. This has to be one of the most unprincled and hypocritical acts imaginable - allowing this site and its publisher to be attacked baselessly while editing any criticism of the World-Herald's own bias from my letter that offered actual concrete evidence of their one-sided spin and distortions.

This is what we're up against, Nebraska. In the media, as in politics, the powers that be have had their way for so long that they can't even imagine a world where they're not calling the shots behind the scenes and controlling the public's perceptions.

I have no delusions about this site's reach or even its quality, but I do know that sites like this and voices like ours are very real threats to the status quo. And, those who serve that status quo and have benefitted so much from it - at expense to the people and our democracy - are scared as hell.

And, you know it as well as I know it - they damn well should be....because change is coming and there's not a damn thing they can do to stop it.

Stay strong. Talk hard. They ain't seen nothing yet.

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14 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep the faith my brother,the only reason they are showing their teeth is because they now realize that conservative politics and the republican way has once again proved itself to be a smoke and mirrors production...think about it Nixon,Reagan,Bush the dumb ass and now Bush the ass clown.
The only thing consistant with the republican/conservative way is that the rich have stomped the true American dream.They have lined their cash-filled pockets with hopes of America's future.And they don't care!
They just hate it when the see that the party is over, they cannot and will not admit they are a fake...they are the swine of politics and the trough is empty!
They will bite and snarl if you point at them and laugh...their souls are empty and full of hate.

Now is the time to turn "professional", becuase the next couple of years is going to be all kinds of weird...

6/16/2007  
Blogger Eric said...

This is a clear case of someone making an ad-hominem argument because he can't refute the substance of your letter. I guess if their best rebuttal is "oh yeah, well you're a liberal," then you're doing your job. Good work.

6/16/2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have continued to try to take a high road approach in your blog. Like others, like Kleeb, you have learned the hard way. The NE R party is not afraid to sharpen the knives.

You know they are like this so why does it upset you so much? Did you not see this coming when you wrote the letter? They aren't Dems, they aren't going to bend over and take it.

The D or other alternative parties will not make any headway until they start playing to win instead playing to be "right."

Take the OWH today. They made an excellent description of evolution and science. They correctly pointed out that evolution is not a straight line as so many of the intentional naive R's in this state believe. They pointed out that science (unlike religion) accepts challenge and revision.

This is an opportunity to divide the World Herald from its large, naive R base. The D Party should applaud the OWH for having an intellectual discussion on science and religion instead of conceding to the ignorance our three Congressmen display in regard to science.

6/16/2007  
Anonymous timaree said...

you know you're doing something right when you're pissing off the people in power. keep up the incredible work and remember: "nolite te bastardes carborundorum."

6/16/2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This cracks me up. You're bitching about being labeled as partisan, then your entire post and every comment thereafter goes off on the Republicans. I'm sitting here laughing out loud, giggling at you trying to pretend you're non-partisan. I can't figure out if you're really upset about it or if it's just an act.

6/16/2007  
Blogger Don Kuhns said...

Christ, Michaelis, get a grip. Seriously, what did you expect? I've had many a letter butchered and my sources(including your blog) skepticized, while constantly reading the most outrageous right wing lies in the Pulse. If you want to raise a stink, go ahead. Who knows, it might even change things. But telling the World Herald to go to hell will probably just get you blackballed, assuming anyone over there is paying attention.

6/16/2007  
Blogger Lisa Hannah said...

The media in Nebraska drives me crazy, the OWH especially. They don't challege our political leaders like they should, leaving people like Kyle to pick up the slack. Partisan? You betcha! But you can be partisan and be FAIR. Kyle does that. But at the end of the day, he's a private citizen with an opinion. And, if he has problems with what our elected officials are doing, he does something about it. Lloyd Smith apparently is a partisan kool-aid drinker because he couldn't argue the facts of what Kyle wrote about. The fact the OWH let him attack Kyle like that is pathetic. If they are going to allow that, they should at least allow Kyle a response to Lloyd's lies and accusations.

6/16/2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the D's want to make progress in this state they need to use facts and beat Heineman, Smith and FortenTerry over the head. Show them the same respect they show their oppenents (very little)

However, no progress will be made by attacking the press. As the saying goes, you wcn't win a verbal war with people who buy their ink by the barrell.

There are more people reading the OWH than are reading this blog. You need to use that channel to point out factually how some in the R party are detached from reality.

As Lisa points out, instead of attacking the world Herald, show them respect and request an opportunity to respond to what you view as a baseless attack against you and your reputation. (they aren't going to call and ask you if you would like to respond)

6/17/2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read the letter in the OWH the other day and I smiled in glee because you could see arogance and or proud lack of ignorance in his statements. Not only did he butcher the reptuable state wide youth caucus of the state Democratic Party, the only thing he could attack you on is your willingness to put yourself out there. The real pity is that there are a lot of narrow-minded Nebraskans like that, they only attack people who are brave enough to have the courage to speak their mind.

Luke Peterson

6/17/2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talk Hard? Time to put away your old copy of "Pump Up the Volume". You're no Hard Harry.

6/17/2007  
Blogger Don Kuhns said...

anonymous said:

Talk Hard? Time to put away your old copy of "Pump Up the Volume". You're no Hard Harry.

It's funny you should mention that, because the rise of viral media(yes they are even using Harry's word-"The truth is a virus!"), culminating with Time Magazine's Person of the Year award to "You", was brilliantly predicted by that movie. The only only thing they got wrong was the medium. So Kyle is indeed a "Hard Harry" figure, minus the sticky palms, I presume.

6/17/2007  
Anonymous TedK said...

It's very frustrating to post a letter to the Public Pulse. The last few times they edited out the best parts even though I kept the length well below their suggested limit. Then I see right-wing drivel printed that is twice as long. Last time I received a call from the Pulse editor who thought one of my facts was wrong. After providing a URL to the evidence and coming to an agreement as to how the letter would appear, they still screwed up using "year" instead of "day" in a reference to excessive CEO pay. This made my letter seem ridiculous. They did print a correction the next day, but how many noticed that? Don, you had that OWH Retort blog to allow replies to the junk in the World Herald. Too bad they don't open their own blog like the Journal Star, but in some ways an unassociated blog is better. If only there were a way to publicize it.

6/17/2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

snif...waaa....snif boo hoo. Somebody please find him his binky.

6/18/2007  
Blogger Skipatore said...

Perhaps conservative readers can let us know - how often are your pulse letters tinkered with?

6/20/2007  

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