by Kerry Dougherty

They’re so dang proud of themselves.

My former employer, The Virginian-Pilot, is so delighted with itself for joining with other corporate news outlets to sue Gov. Glenn Youngkin that they’ve Tweeted about it six times and even put it on the front page for the ever-dwindling number of people who still subscribe.

They claim the governor violated the FOIA laws when he refused to turn over the contents of a tip line that parents can use to report divisive practices in the schools.

This is, in effect, a whistleblower line, which is traditionally regarded as privileged. But the Pilot, The Washington Post and NPR and other mainstream media outlets who loathe Youngkin seem determined to break that seal of privacy.

You know what’s really odd?

I don’t remember any of these great defenders of the public’s right to know suing the last governor — a Democrat — when he used a bogus claim of privacy to refuse to release information about which nursing homes were experiencing COVID outbreaks.

In fact, Northam actually claimed that the nursing homes had the same privacy rights as individuals, which was preposterous. But he deliberately prevented worried family members from learning if their loved ones were living in COVID pits.

Those claims of privacy were bogus and abhorrent. At the same time visitors were barred from long-term care facilities because of COVID, the governor blocked information about where outbreaks were occurring from interested parties.

The mainstream media contentedly sucked their thumbs when this outrageous violation of open government was underway. Now they’ve sprung into action to do the business of the commonwealth’s teachers’ unions.

This is nothing new. Throughout the pandemic editorial boards mindlessly parroted CDC talking points without ever questioning the data behind them. They were defenders of the forced masking of school children, for instance, when most Western nations recognized the useless cruelty of such measures.

But now that a Republican is in the Governor’s Mansion? The gloves are off.

Let’s at least be honest about the current lawsuits. They’re designed to discourage folks from reporting what’s really going on in public schools and to embarrass the governor because some groups were urging their members to flood the hotline with songs of praise for schools.

Ralph Northam’s school shutdowns were useful in one way: they gave parents a look at what was going on in public schools. And it wasn’t good.

There’s no going back now.

Even with the threat that news outlets will “out” parents who dare to complain.

This column has been republished with permission from Kerry: Unemployed & Unedited.

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25 responses to “NOW They Sue”

  1. DJRippert Avatar

    You’re absolutely right. The only thing worse than the Main Stream Media is the sheep-people who are blindly misled by the MSM. Simple-minded folks love whatever the MSM covers and never question what is covered and how it is covered.

    One (of many) examples:

    1. Stephen Haner Avatar
      Stephen Haner

      The Rolling Stone piece that is linked in the Free Beacon is the first place I’ve seen a report of the guy’s online ravings. He’s pretty ecumenical in his hate — and reading that, he’s more likely to end up in Bellevue than a federal pen. Mental illness and social media and guns, quite a cocktail.

      1. DJRippert Avatar

        Like most randomly violent people … he’s a nutcake. I’m waiting for the lefty commentators on this blog to somehow try to blame this psychopath’s actions on White Nationalism, Trump, Fox News or systemic racism.

  2. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    Since the content of a tip line can be used to issue a warrant,…

  3. James McCarthy Avatar
    James McCarthy

    Grrrr! What to hope for is a hit song from Lin-Manuel Miranda called Conflation to play or sing to such twaddle. Whistleblowers are protected on the assumption of reporting crime or wrongdoing, neither of which pertain to Youngkin’s cultural campaign regarding divisiveness. Surely, the author would have preferred a bounty payment for the tips.

  4. Eric the half a troll Avatar
    Eric the half a troll

    Consider the FOIA to be preemptive action to counter the Conservative tactic of selective editing in their press releases…. not surprised that Kerry wants to keep the shroud of secrecy in place.

  5. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    I generally refrain from commenting on Dougherty’s blog posts because I fail to see what she brings to the party other than simple newspaper columns. But not this time.

    Youngkin’s tattle line is reprehensible. It is a page right out of Stalin. People are accused of CRT thinking and are reported. Who knows what happens to the accusations? Their jobs could be affected but they can’t know why or who ratted on them.

    The “corporate” media (gee what a bad word!) are absolutely correct in tracking this down through the FOIA. I hope they sue the shit out of Youngkin. . He’s not at the Carlyle Group any more where he can set up a snitch line and call it proprietary,.

    1. VaNavVet Avatar

      Agree that most of Dougherty’s blog posts are drivel and aimed only at her ego. She seems to make a living distorting situations to fit her narrative which perhaps leads to tendonitis.

    2. Not surprised when fans of safe spaces and cancel culture melt down in rage whenever steps are taken to arrest the activities of groomers and political activists posing as teachers

      “Their jobs could be affected”, yet it’s the left that’s now famous for doxing and ruining those they disagree with.

      And the author is correct that these media have a shrinking audience for good reason.

    3. millennial Avatar

      This post is great because it reveals everyone’s actual priors: “So CRT isn’t real, but if it is real, it’s really messed up if someone gets called for teaching it through an anonymous tip line”

    4. f/k/a_tmtfairfax Avatar

      MSM, track ’em down just like you exposed state senator Northam when he ran for Lt. Governor and Lt. Governor Northam when he ran for Governor.

  6. f/k/a_tmtfairfax Avatar

    Don’t forget the world leader Washington Post failed to find out about, and report on, Ralph Northam’s medical school blackface incident, not just in one election cycle but rather, in two. Would you rather your next-door neighbor was an MSM “journalist” or an axe-murderer? Easy choice for me.

    1. James McCarthy Avatar
      James McCarthy

      A failure to discover a matter versus refusal to disclose? What’s the point? The real estate agent failed to disclose the next door axe murderer!!??

  7. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    TMT. Actually the Post reported extensively on the black face situation.

    Also, I have been working in the MSM for nearly 48 years. Why do I get this putdown? I am proud of my career choice.

    1. DJRippert Avatar

      Once upon a time, the mainstream media presented both sides of an issue. Now, it’s purely left-wing or right-wing, although more left-wing.

      I’ve worked in technology almost as long as you worked in journalism. However, I find Twitter and Facebook deplorable.

      Just because you work in an industry doesn’t mean you have to like the way it is headed.

      TMT’s point on The Post is that before Northam’s election as Lt Governor and Governor the newspaper failed to discover his disgusting yearbook photo. Even after he was elected, it was a “typical citizen” that blew the whistle, not the Mainstream Media. Of course, Fox News and the National Review also missed that yearbook photo.

    2. f/k/a_tmtfairfax Avatar

      Before the elections? Of course not. Yet, it spent big bucks to cover a senate election in Alabama. The Post is no more than a whore for the Democratic Party.

      I grew up reading the St. Paul papers, listening to radio news and watching TV news, both local and national. How many grade school kids read the papers and followed the state legislature? I subscribed to the local newspaper when I left home in St. Paul and continued when I moved to Omaha, Des Moines and the D.C. Metro.

      For years, I found reporting that, at least tried to cover all sides of an issue. But that hasn’t happened in decades. We were treated to Post article after article on then Senator Allen’s asinine macacca statement. But nothing on Northam’s blackface until everyone else had reported on it. Investigative journalism. Not much investigative reporting.

      And keep in mind that a Post reporter told me that the reporter was pressured by the editorial board not to write anything negative about then Governor Kaine. A clear breach of company policy. And what did the late Mr. Hiatt do about that? Zip.

      I freely admit that my “training” in journalism was limited to instruction in HS English class. But I still remember that a journalist was supposed to keep his or her views out of the investigation, interview and writing processes. Does that ever happen anymore? How much cover-up of Biden’s incompetence by the Media occurs day after day after day?

      It strikes me that good journalism would result in half of the readers angry half of the time. And a good journalist’s personal views should not be readily known. It’s just like when a lawyer supports the client’s position even when he or she doesn’t like that position personally.

      1. john b harvie Avatar
        john b harvie

        “The Post is no more than a whore for the Democratic Party.”

        Love that description.

  8. James Kiser Avatar
    James Kiser

    The only reason that the FOIAs were filed is so that propaganda machines of the press can reveal who called so that those individuals can be targeted with harassment and threats by the democrats and the brownshirts.

  9. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    TMT, With respect, your views on journalism are simplistic. You are describing journalism at its most basic, inverted pyramid, this side, that side, etc. I did that when I started. But there’s also analysis, opinion and other forms. When I went to Business Week, I had to learn a new form that of the news magazine. We had to have a “story line.” this would include other views but there had to be a point. The media had to make some choices in covering Trump, a buffoon and serial liar.I am sorry you brought up Fred Hiatt. I met him in Moscow in the 1990s and considered him a friend and a colleague. He was extremely well respected at the Post for which I have been contributing for 12 years. In fact, the only Opinion piece I have ever had pulled was one about Mark Warner, a Democrat. Fred thought it was too fawning and called it a “wet kiss.”

    I am sorry I I I I am

  10. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    FOIA? These nice folks will help…

  11. Stephen Haner Avatar
    Stephen Haner

    Another of my duties when I worked for AG’s Earley and Beales was dealing with the state’s “fraud and abuse” tip line. Any complaint dealing with that office landed on my desk first and failing to inquire and reply was not an option. Most were just silly. Many obviously malicious. One did involve an employee driving recklessly in a state car, traced to that person through the date and license plate. All confidential as I recall, but I didn’t control that, I think the process ran through the state auditor. A reporter would have found it boring. 🙂 And, as I said, many of the allegations were malicious or just wrong. That will also be the case with the tips in question.

    1. VaNavVet Avatar

      Then it makes one wonder what the Youngkin admin is trying to hide.

    2. James McCarthy Avatar
      James McCarthy

      “Malicious or just wrong” tip allegations? Whoever advised the creation of the tip line gave bad advice. Show the data and bore the press.

    3. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
      James Wyatt Whitehead

      I think this tip line is different. There is a great deal of parent outrage. There are plenty of teachers who would gladly spill the beans. For years now, schools have swept the dirty laundry under the rug. On the flipped side I think you will find plenty of tips applauding the work of dedicated school teachers. Publish the tip line. Redact the names of the whistle blowers. The public deserves to know.

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