Journalistic Integrity?

More like journalistic hackery.

Vote Russ Diamond for State Representative

May 19, 2023

By now we're all well aware of the actual truth behind the Hunter Biden laptop story and how the mainstream media colluded to hide it in advance of the 2020 presidential election to benefit the Biden campaign. And just this week we learned the facts of the Durham report, which blew the 2016 "Russian collusion" claims from Hillary Clinton and the media out of the water.

These are two prime examples of journalistic malfeasance on a grand scale, with media outlets actively participating in advancing a particular political agenda rather than simply reporting facts. This is not just limited to national issues, and it was on display here in Pennsylvania this spring if you were paying attention.

In particular, I'm referring to the sexual harassment claims against disgraced former state representative Mike Zabel, the cover-up by House Democrats, the involvement of local party boss and Representative-elect Heather Boyd, and some "journalists" who wrote (or didn't write) about it. For those who need a refresher, I wrote about some of this myself here and here.

Boyd won the special election to replace Zabel on Tuesday, allowing Democrats to retain their slim 102-101 majority in the House of Representatives.

Ridiculing a Candidate Inadvertently Exposes Truth

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Peter Hall, who writes for the Penn Capital-Star, reached out to Republican candidate Katie Ford via text to get her reaction at 10:30 pm on election night. She offered the zinger you see in the screenshot here. Hall later tweeted that screenshot in an attempt to ridicule Ford, which seems a bit like rubbing salt in her wounds. That alone speaks volumes about Hall's personality.

But something else about his tweet caught my attention. Above his request for comment is what appears to be a phone camera roll, which includes a photo of Mike Zabel campaigning at Heather Boyd's home in September of 2022.

I recognized the setting from a different photo which had been circulating on Twitter and elsewhere during the campaign. I called Ford and asked her about it. She said Hall was pretty rude to her on a previous call for an article he published. Immediately after that interview, she texted that photo and others to Hall on May 5th to refute Boyd's public claims that she did not support Zabel after learning of his sexual harassment.

Hall didn't care. And that's because he's a partisan hack, not a journalist. He's not interested in the truth. So maybe he actually earned Ford's zinger.

Unbelievable Tall Tales

Boyd previously admitted to the Philadelphia Inquirer that she did know of one of Zabel's victims in 2019. And in a televised debate, Boyd claimed she learned in 2021 of the publicly known lobbyist he sexually harassed. A careful review of those separate statements reveals that Boyd knew of not just one, but TWO distinct instances of sexual harassment by Zabel, with the first likely being his campaign manager from 2018.

She also claimed in the Inquirer article that she "passed along suggestions of who could challenge him in a primary election" and during the debate said she did not support Zabel's reelection once she knew about the sexual harassment. Those claims are simply not credible, as evidenced by this photo from the Upper Darby Democrats Facebook page of Boyd (who is Chair of the UD Dems - ahem) campaigning with Zabel at her own home in September of 2022.

What kind of person invites a sexual predator to campaign at her home, where her family sleeps? And then lies about it? Those seem like important questions to ask a candidate for state representative. Hall didn't care. He didn't even bother to look into it. But he had no compunction about yukking it up on Twitter with fellow leftists in his post-election ridicule of Boyd's opponent.

A Concerted Effort to Conceal

Hall's old pal Stephen Caruso from the Penn Capital-Star, who now works for SpotlightPA, pulled a similar hack maneuver back in March. Despite knowing Zabel's identity as the Harrisburg groper, Caruso sat on that information for days while the Democrats elected Joanna McClinton as Speaker and passed their horrible House rules package, both with Zabel's vote.

The only reason Caruso went public with Zabel's name when he did on March 1st was because some actual journalists over at Broad + Liberty beat him to the punch. That article led to some very uncomfortable moments for McClinton on the Speaker's rostrum that day, although it didn't stop her from appointing Zabel to the House Judiciary Committee to consider bills addressing childhood sexual assault that very day.

Vote Russ Diamond for State Representative

At one time, Caruso would semi-regularly text or call me with questions about what was going on behind the scenes in Harrisburg. I'd never give him any important inside information, but I thought we built a working relationship that was at least mutually respectful. I lost all respect for him when I learned he used his position to aid House Democrats in their cover up operation. On March 2nd I sent him a text to let him know that I knew. I haven't heard from him since.

Was #metoo Just a Convenient Political Fad?

There's no way these two "journalists" would have ever given such deference to House Republicans or a Republican candidate involved in the cover up of sexual harassment. Remember 2018 when the #metoo movement was all the rage?

(Ironic sidebars: Boyd was once Chief of Staff for House Democratic Campaign Committee chair Rep. Leanne Krueger, who was the leading voice of the #metoo movement in Harrisburg in 2018-19. Boyd went on to serve as a senior advisor to Congresswoman May Gay Scanlon, who was elected after her predecessor had a #metoo issue of his own. In 2020, Boyd was a witness in a case against former Senator Daylin Leach, who was accused of inappropriately touching female staffers. I don't know about you, but her inaction re: Zabel vs. these facts scream HYPOCRITE to me.)

Caveat Emptor

Not everyone who writes news articles for a living is a complete political hack like Hall and Caruso are, but it sure seems like there are far more hacks than actual journalists these days. No matter what you think of Donald Trump, he was somewhat justified in calling out today's media as an enemy of the people.

Whenever you read or hear any news item from the media, keep in mind that whoever wrote it thought long and hard about the things they included, the things they didn't include, and the words they chose to use. They didn't just spew it out like a spur of the moment social media post; they reviewed it over and over to convey a distinct message to you. A message they wanted you to believe and take away.

It's up to you to always carefully consider the source, and the motives driving the source.
Russ Diamond

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