COMMENTARY: Media coverage of alternative candidates shouldn’t include attacks

Kryssi Wichers
Kryssi Wichers

(Heartland Newsfeed) — In an election cycle where Libertarian Party and Green Party candidates have received the most media coverage in years, there are still those in the mainstream media who want to drag candidates through the mud and attack their past.

Kryssi Wichers
Kryssi Wichers

This has happened to several candidates over the past months and as of Friday, Ohio House candidate Kryssi Wichers became another target of the media.

Spencer Remoquillo of the Lancaster Eagle-Gazette put out a hit piece on Wichers, who is running for state representative in District 77, bringing up her past.

One of the items Remoquillo dragged up was Wichers’ active bench warrant in Florida for a misdemeanor cannabis and paraphernalia possession charge stemming from a 2012 incident.

I’m sorry, Spencer, but your yellow journalism isn’t going to prove anything. Wichers was cited for something that shouldn’t be illegal to begin with. Nobody cares unless you’re an authoritarian Republican who wants to put people in prison for no good reason, make the prisoners perform cheap labor for a profit and call that “capitalism”.

Remoquillo brings up a 2011 appearance on Dr. Phil where Wichers discussed being a “sugar baby”, being involved in arranged relationships with older, wealthy men which sometimes involved sexual interactions while she was a pre-law major in college.

This pathetic excuse of a journalist makes this look like a bad thing. Puhleeze — they were consensual relationships with mutual consent for sexual relations and she got paid for it. There is nothing illegal about it.

Yes, alternative candidates are getting plenty of media attention leading to the November 6 general election, but when journalists choose to spend their time attacking alternative candidates regarding things that don’t matter to the ordinary voter, they’re just another statistic of political bias in the media and a disgrace to the profession I’ve fought hard to defend the proper journalistic principles and ethics since I first started getting involved in freelance journalism in 2010.

We need more positive media stories about candidates, not negative media stories with zero substance. I’m not afraid to show my political bias (in favor of Libertarians and other anti-authoritarian candidates) and publicly embarrass the news media who is incredibly biased to the left or right and this is just another example.

Not only should Remoquillo feel ashamed for publishing this garbage, USA Today, the USA Today Network and owner Gannett Company should also be embarrassed that this terrible excuse of a news story (from what was obviously a slow news day) was allowed to be published.

Jake Leonard is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed and GM/program director of the Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network. Leonard is also general manager of Heartland Internet Media Networks and an active contributor to four newspapers for Pana News Group.

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