“Never get into a dispute with someone that buys ink by the barrel…”

Here is Jay Furst’s editorial commentary on my assessment of Terry Throndson’s statements.  I made my comments back in mid October, you can read them here. I requested that the Post Bulletin reporter (who was covering the event) fact check this on October 13th (or very close to that date).  To the best of my knowledge that never happened.

Edit:  I was reminded once again that my sarcasm does not always read well.

This comes back to the expectation that was raised previously, as an elected official should I sit by and smile if someone lies or manipulates data.  I continue to say “no.”  While some may question my tactics, the fact is that I saw this happen and saw fit to alert the public.  The reporter covering the event gave it a free pass.  The tax statement was either a deliberate manipulation of the truth or an incredibly dumb mistake.  Either way its “truthiness” was never called into question and a voter heading to the polls (albeit a gullible one) may have believed this to be true.

As for Terry, he won his election by such a margin that he would have won regardless if this had been reported.  As such, I hope the positive traits that I listed in the original article (hardworking, good businessman) are what we see from him in office.  Should he come to me with an idea, I will listen and give it fair consideration.  The citizens of Rochester deserve so much.  (But I will fact check any numbers…)

2 comments

  1. Hi, Michael. Your point regarding fact-checking is obviously true and important — we need to do more fact-checking. No other media will do it. Being realistic, we can’t check the accuracy of every major assertion made in a public meeting, candidates forum or whatever or we’d never publish. But we can do a lot more.
    We have an Answer Man item today that fact-checks a Throndson assertion, which is the only reason I came across your blog.
    My point was entirely about your blog post: In my humble opinion, your comments were way out of line for an elected official representing the state’s third largest city. Challenge a candidate to produce evidence to support an assertion, but don’t call him a liar, manipulator or an ignoramus.
    But maybe that’s just me.

  2. This is a fair criticism and I think in a more moderated forum I would have been less blunt. My concern is that it wasn’t that this claim was absurd, but rather that it was so absurd that anybody listening and certainly a school board candidate should have known that this was way off. My opinion is that I believe that this was a deliberately misleading statement that was like red meat to a fired up base. The problem was that it was never true, and he knew it or should have know it. Because it was never challenged the falsehood went on and on. There is no defense of any serious candidate making this statement. I will concede that I was very blunt, but that is part of my honesty. I took this very personally because I felt that I was being deliberately lied to.

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