Island Issues

Why Are Struggling Local News Outlets Alienating Readers?

Why Are Struggling Local News Outlets Alienating Readers?

Newspaper editorials used to have significant influence and sway with readers. They contained well-researched factual material to back up their opinions.

The Internet changed all that. The print media couldn’t compete, and many went under leaving a handful of dailies and weeklies struggling for any remaining advertising dollars and readership.

The papers that endured are floundering, frantically attempting to appeal to a shrinking audience. However, their pro-left business model is alienating both readers and advertisers, that have had enough of their far-left screeching, anti-American cultural disruption, and biased news reporting.

This was vividly illustrated during the recent election when not a single remaining Florida newspaper with a significant readership endorsed Republican Governor Ron DeSantis.

In fact, many went out of their way to excoriate him, including the Tampa Bay Times, Miami Herald, The Palm Beach Post, and the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel. Their preferred candidate –  the pathetic Democrat Charlie Crist – lost the election in a landslide and the print media and their opinion writers lost any credibility they had left.

The lame liberal media have become their own worst enemies. It appears they are blinded by their liberal agendas and haven’t learned anything.

Look no further than the local Fernandina Beach News Leader’s editorial pages which continue to run anti-DeSantis nonsense. Not that it’s has a significant readership (about 11,000) or any influence but it’s the only print game in town.

Last week, Wednesday, November 16, the paper’s clumsy curmudgeonly far-left columnist, Ron Sapp, a retired local high school indoctrinator, had this to say about the overwhelming Republican victory: “Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Marco Rubio swamped their opponents, proving that sloganeering, hyperbole, head-in-the-sand, straight ticket voters, fear mongering and outright fabrications are more impactful than facts and job performance.” Sapp’s as intellectually and factually persuasive as a screeching leg-kicking toddler sprawled on the kitchen floor demanding a pre-dinner cookie.

The proud socialist!

Sapp, who admitted in one of his previous columns that he is a socialist and “proud of it”, didn’t back up a single one of his hysterical accusations with facts or examples. His entire one-quarter page of wasted newsprint, went on to spout the same claptrap he falsely accused Florida’s Republican election winners of conducting.

He continued his nonsensical handwringing, shrieking that “the far-right is attacking our basic freedoms”, again without providing a single shred of evidence or one example of what he was talking about.  He concluded adding “I have the freedom to write about things in this column, the freedom to write and speak in opposition to certain politicians or government policies, etc.  I’ve never been in fear of losing that freedom.”  OK, so, what’s all the caterwauling about then?

He’s right. He’s not in fear of losing his freedom to print his babbling drivel. However, the paper should be in fear of losing some of the few subscribers it has left. If it continues printing Sapp’s gibberish it should be worried about losing advertisers too.

Sapp blathered on despite the fact he knew that the Republican rout was comprehensive. Every Florida candidate for statewide office won, all by 10 points or more. It was a landslide, a sweep, a painful spanking that was the result of a record of good governance.

It sent Sapp into hysterics to hear that despite COVID, the recession, a historic hurricane, and relentless attacks from Democrats, Florida has enjoyed 30 consecutive months of job growth. This, while blue states have seen their economies stagnate and fail.

Governor DeSantis rewarded police departments when other states defunded them. He battled Hollywood, woke school boards, and the Biden administration. All of this has resulted in a thriving state–with unprecedented job growth, and successes. Sapp can’t abide it. He refuses to acknowledge these achievements.

The curmudgeonly scribbler must have gone into a catatonic state when he read that DeSantis won practically every demographic: Hispanics, women, white men, married voters, independents, and older voters. He won the rural vote (69%), the suburban vote (58%), and the urban vote (55%). Senator Rubio won by more than 16 points and the GOP locked Democrats out of every statewide office.

It’s ironic that in past columns Sapp complained that developers and tourism are ruining Fernandina’s small-town atmosphere. Where is his outrage when City Commission candidate and Fernandina Pride President Genece Minshew, declares she’d like to turn the city into a “gay vacation destination”?  Where’s his fury over current Mayor and City Commission candidate Mike Lednovich  parading through town wearing a “Black Lives Matter” sandwich board to celebrate that vicious hate group? Not a peep from Sapp. Apparently he prefers grown men wearing lingerie (e.g. “drag queens”) reading to local children and violent racist Marxists over entrepreneurship and law and order.

It drives Sapp nuts that Florida’s seasonally adjusted total nonagricultural employment was 9,542,500 in October 2022, an increase of 36,400 jobs over the month. The state gained 457,400 jobs over the year, an increase of 5%, higher than the national rate of 3.6% over the year. This is the kind of news that Sapp wants to depress because DeSantis’ success and the state’s prosperity depress Sapp, the ultimate socialist election denier.

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I’m Not Making This Up: A couple approached me this past Wednesday telling me they appreciated this site’s articles exposing Genece Minshew’s hidden agenda to turn Fernandina Beach into a “gay vacation destination.”

They explained that the LGBTQIA+ indoctrination and sexualization of children doesn’t stop at Fernandina’s city limits. They said that their dental hygienist told them a few days ago that she had withdrawn her child from a Callahan public school because that school’s principal appeared to be succumbing to pressure to put a litter box in a student restroom to accommodate a couple of kids who “identify as cats” or “furies”.

Good grief! Those kids don’t need a litter box, they need a psychiatrist, the parents need a visit from the Florida Department of Children and Families, and the Nassau County School Board needs to investigate to ensure this craziness doesn’t happen.  

I thought they were making that up or had been overserved until others verified what they said is actually taking place. This is a story even too absurd for the satirical Amelia Island News Wrecker.

The December 13 Fernandina Beach runoff election depends on rational and sane citizens voting and convincing their neighbors and friends to turn out to vote for Darron Ayscue and Dr. James Antun.

Folks that want to help can contact Antun at antun91@yahoo.com or (516) 547-5309 while Ayscue can be reached at connect@darronayscue.com or (904) 591-3647.

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The News Leader and Observer share the same fact checker and proof reader.

Speaking Of Lousy Local News Outlets:  The sight-impaired online Fernandina Observer, which was taken over from the journalistic-impaired duo of Susan Steger and Suanne Thamm, by a guy named Mike Phillips, is still using that duo’s white cane to find its way.

Like the local County Citizens Defending Freedom (CCDF) chapter, the online Observer posed a series of questions to the candidates running for City Commission.

However, the blind Observer left out the CCDF questions that Commission candidates Genece Minshew and Mike Lednovich refused to answer including: “Do you support Black Lives Matter ideologically? Would you favor the city positioning itself in promotional material and policies as a Gay Vacation Destination? Should biological boys identifying as girls be allowed to play on girl’s recreational teams sponsored by the city?” In fact, Lednovich and Minshew not only refused to answer any of the CCDF questions but they also refused to respond to media questions asking them why they wouldn’t respond. No return calls or emails, just crickets.

Minshew scrubbed her social media sites to hide all the LGBTQA+ material including transgender fluidity for minors that she normally touts. Lednovich yanked the photo of him marching down Centre Street wearing a Black Lives Matter sandwich board off his Facebook page.

Lednovich, left, and Minshew.

The Nassau County  Chamber of Commerce which touted a variety of Fernandina Pride’s activities including events involving young children, “Drag Queen Brunches” and “Drag Queen Bingo” has deleted that page from its web site since I wrote about it here last week.

All other candidates answered the CCDF questionnaire. Only Lednovich and Minshew did not.

Local firefighter Darron Ayscue (Minshew’s opponent) and Dr. James Antun (Lednovich’s opponent) both answered those question saying they were in opposition. These two family men also responded to all other questions on the questionnaire that Minshew and Lednovich refused to answer.

Ayscue is president of the local firefighters union and has been a critic of the city’s mismanaged budgeting and advocates a millage reduction. He and his wife, Michelle, and their two children are lifelong residents of Fernandina.

Dr. Antun and his Chiropractor wife, Jayde, jointly operate a Fernandina chiropractic clinic. They are proud new parents and Dr. Antun is an articulate public speaker with traditional family values and promotes strict budgetary discipline.

New Observer editor Phillips says he: “……sought questions from quite a number of thoughtful citizens, we boiled their ideas down to these twelve questions for the four City Commission runoff candidates” Apparently Phillips doesn’t consider Jack Knocke, the local head of CCDF and founder of local watchdog group Common Sense, a thoughtful citizen.

Not one of Mr. Knocke’s questions were included in this alleged editor’s list. The Observer has never covered the fact that Lednovich and Minshew refused to answer the CCDF questions. Neither has the News Leader. No other publication except the Citizens Journal Florida has mentioned Minshew’s role in gay LGBTG+ activities that she promotes throughout the city or California transplant Lednovich’s enthusiastic support of Black Lives Matter. The Nassau Democrat Club does though. It actively supports both of these left-wing candidates.

If locals want to read about right whale sightings, quilting bee winners, regurgitated insomnia-curing articles about downtown houses, and feature stories on snakes and bugs in the Egans Creek Greenway, then the News Leader and Observer would be the outlets for  them.

If they’re seeking a thorough examination of local news, and not just one side, the recently unveiled Citizens Journal Florida  is the first place to turn. Other than this blog it’s the only other local media outlet to call these extremists out. The blind online Observer and timid print News Leader both ignore these stories. Why?

According to the Kiplinger Letter local newspapers are becoming extinct. It says that the U.S. has lost one-quarter of its newspapers since 2005. On average it claims that two shut down every week…360 have closed since late 2019. “Those surviving are understaffed, publish less frequently and cover fewer topics,” it concludes. So why does the News Leader ignore material that appeals to a majority of local residents.

In Nassau County the vast majority of voters are registered Republican. The latest voter registration figures for Nassau County indicate there are 44,009 registered Republicans,14,415 Democrats, 15,779 No Party Affiliation, and 1,653 Other.  

Republican voters hereabouts applauded Governor DeSantis’s Stop W.O.K.E. Act that removed unpopular critical-race-theory garbage from public schools. They also approved of  his successful Parents Rights In Education bill, which banned classroom instruction about LGBTQA+ rubbish through third grade and to tell parents if their children receive mental-health services through the school. So why isn’t the News Leader covering those issues and exposing both Minshew’s and Lednovich’s blatant attempts to hide their true intentions?

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Something I Just Learned: Governor Ron DeSantis’s massive victory November 8 marks the first time a Florida Republican governor won in such a landslide since 1868. That’s when Harrison Reed captured 59% of the votes to 32% for his challenger during Civil War Reconstruction when 20,000 Floridians voted. This is also the first time a Democrat has never held a statewide office since Reconstruction.  Florida is now as fire engine red as left-wing News Leader columnist Ron Sapp’s face when he heard the election results.

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Things I Wish I’d Said:  “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.” – Oscar Wilde

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Follow What Money? It’s All Gone! I’ve never understood crypto coins. To me they are just make-believe money cranked out by computers. They have no inherent value, nor is it a real currency and it isn’t regulated. It’s all air.

I thought folks who invest vast amounts of money and manage billions for others were shrewd financial managers and savvy advisors. Apparently not. They were sucked in by a whacky 30-something fat nerd, Sam Bankman-Fried, and his equally devious 28-year-old girlfriend. They lost or stole billions of their clients’ money.

There are also a bunch of sweating Democrat Congressmen worried as they happily accepted almost $40 million dollars from these creeps in what now appears to have been massive corruption, probably on a Bernie Madoff scale.

Are this fat little FTX thief and his partner-in-crime going to jail? And if folks could be prosecuted for stupidity it’d be those who were chasing all this Monopoly money.  How stupid do you have to be to invest in coins with strange symbols on them that you’ve only seen pictures of on a computer screen? How many life savings were cleaned out?

I’ll pay to watch the movie when it eventually debuts.

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Something Else I Wish I’d Said: “When one door opens and another door closes, it means you’re probably in prison.” – anonymous.

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Drinking, Dining, Dancing & Shopping: Don’t forget today, Friday, November 25,  from 8 am to 4 pm is downtown Fernandina Beach’ s annual Pajama Party with local celebrity and beloved character Pajama Dave Voorhees hosting his South 2nd Street block Party. This year PJ Dave will host festivities in front of his 12 South Street PJD’s Beer & Wine Garden that includes live music performed by popular local musicians Michele Anders, Amy Vickery, Sam McDonald, and Hupp & Ray, in that order. The Best Pajama Contest begins  at 11 am with prizes awarded for best individual, best group, most creative and best pet pajamas. I have been asked to help judge this event and promise to be impartial after you buy me a beer. I hear special guest, Santa Claus, will make an appearance mingling with the shopping crowds on Centre Street. I’ll buy him a brew. This is one of Fernandina’s most cherished and fun family events.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

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9 Comments

Al Macdougall - 30. Nov, 2022 - Reply

Mail-in ballots for City Commission are out—
whether you vote in person or by mail–please vote.
Historically, turnout is around 10%—
so these people represent YOU–is that right? Seems so…sad.

Aaron Kessler - 29. Nov, 2022 - Reply

OMG, what a bunch of rednecks!

Harrison Waller - 30. Nov, 2022 - Reply

Amen to that! Ron Sapp, Genece Minshew, Mike Lednovich, Fernandina Observer publisher, News-Leader Publisher, Chamber of Commerce are all a bunch of rednecks.

Joe rogan - 29. Nov, 2022 - Reply

You are quiet a disgusting excuse for a man. Ccc

Joe rogan - 29. Nov, 2022 - Reply

You are quiet a disgusting excuse for a man.

Harrison Waller - 30. Nov, 2022 - Reply

Hey, “Joe rogan”, maybe you should look up the word “quiet”. You had 2 shots and missed both of them.

George Miller - 25. Nov, 2022 - Reply

Dave:

Thanks again for calling out weak and corrupt local/MSM. Thanks also for the mention of Citizens Journal Florida (citizensjournal.net) as the lone news pub attempting to tell the truth. Your opinion blog does, too, in a more entertaining way :-).

Yes, it is very hard to keep a a local news pub going today. We appreciate the support shown by some who want another perspective presented besides the Globalist Secular progressive propaganda.

I see few comments here today and hear that you were hacked. We were also hacked, on election day- and had to pay considerable sum to get back online and cleaned up

Gordon Reilly - 25. Nov, 2022 - Reply

As a brief personal observation, I wish to offer the following. Something I noticed with a majority of leftist advocates, babbling socialists, and the stanchest Democrat voter, is that in spite of all their public pronouncements and demands when it comes to their personal families they all seem to live surprisingly conservative Republican lives.

Bobby Frank - 29. Nov, 2022 - Reply

Say what?