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*** UPDATED x1 *** Report: Proft papers using Daily Herald’s postage permit

Tuesday, Sep 20, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* James T. Norman at Shaw Local News Network

Criminals set to be released into your neighborhood, sparse advertising and contact information, and an alleged teacher with a fake name pledging to teach critical race theory in class.

Those are some examples of what can be found in a series of publications that have been mailed in recent weeks to homes across the state, as well as in McHenry County. They are drawing attention – including from Gov. JB Pritzker – for being politically charged and containing right-wing talking points just a couple months before the November election.

The publications, totaling 34, include the McHenry Times, the Kane County Reporter, Chicago City Wire and the DeKalb Times. They are under the umbrella of a company called Local Government Information Services, or LGIS. It’s unclear whether each title has mailed out newspapers in recent weeks, but they have a presence online. […]

The press association has received inquiries from residents around the state asking about the mailings and how to get them to stop being delivered, Craven said. […]

[Don Craven, president of the Illinois Press Association] said neither the company nor its publications are members of the Illinois Press Association. The postage permit printed on the front of the papers is registered to Paddock Publications Inc., according to a U.S. Postal Service spokesman.

Paddock Publications Inc. is better known as the Daily Herald. Click here for its latest state corporate filing.

I called Daily Herald publisher Doug Ray and left a message yesterday and followed up with an email early this morning. I had a mutual acquaintance reach out to Ray and others yesterday and today at the Daily Herald and I also reached out to another person at the company yesterday. Silence.

I’ll let you know if anyone responds. I sure would like to know their rationale because, man, this is not a good look. At all. Shameful, even.

…Adding… From comments…

So while decrying fake news on social media, the parent company is profiting off distributing hard copy fake news? Can’t wait to hear what they have to say.

https://www.dailyherald.com/news/20181004/daily-herald-journalists-talk-about-combating-fake-news

https://www.dailyherald.com/discuss/20210428/editorial-media-literacy-bill-a-welcome-tool-in-the-fight-against-fake-news

The company did five “Facts Matter” symposiums.

*** UPDATE *** Daily Herald publisher Doug Ray, who is listed as the agent for Paddock Publications, Inc., responds…

Paddock Publications has a large commercial printing operation in Schaumburg. In addition to the Daily Herald newspapers, Paddock handles commercial printing and mailing for a great variety of customers in Illinois, Wisconsin and across the country. The printing operation is a separate and distinct manufacturing business. Its operation has nothing to do with the editorial judgment or policies of the Daily Herald newspapers.

…Adding… This is from just last week

Stefanie Anderson, a senior vice president of Paddock Publications Inc. and general manager of Southern Illinois LOCAL Media Group, is the newest member of the Illinois Press Association Board of Directors.

Prior to moving to southern Illinois to oversee the community newspaper group, Anderson was director of production in the Schaumburg printing facility for the Daily Herald Media Group.

Huh. That’s not quite how Ray explained it.

…Adding… Pearson at the Trib…


       

66 Comments »
  1. - Amalia - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 11:52 am:

    Illinois Department of Revenue issue? Business cheating.


  2. - Big Dipper - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 11:55 am:

    He must have paid them a lot to sell their journalistic integrity.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 11:56 am:

    Mercy, that’s truly an awful ethical quandary.

    Not really for Proft, as Proft reminded he will victimize a victim to his own ends, so…


  4. - Commissar Gritty - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 12:01 pm:

    How is this not a campaign violation? These are political mailers that do not have a “paid for”. And before someone says they’re a newspaper, if I dress myself in a giant chicken suit, that does not make me a chicken.


  5. - vern - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 12:02 pm:

    This is extremely disturbing. I love the Daily Herald, and I tend to think the world would be a better place if national political media were replaced with the DH’s best news-side reporters.

    But if they’re endorsing the LGIS garbage as legitimate news, that would be the end of my subscription to say the very least. Even if there is some explanation, you’d think a newspaper would be the easiest place to get a comment from.


  6. - Roadrager - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 12:02 pm:

    I’m sure Paddock Publications simply views this as a mutually beneficial business arrangement, much as CNN did when covering Trump rallies wire-to-wire. Hey, it’s not like anything *actually* bad will come of it, right?


  7. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 12:06 pm:

    The Daily Herald is Fake News apparently


  8. - Michelle Flaherty - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 12:07 pm:

    So while decrying fake news on social media, the parent company is profiting off distributing hard copy fake news? Can’t wait to hear what they have to say.

    https://www.dailyherald.com/news/20181004/daily-herald-journalists-talk-about-combating-fake-news

    https://www.dailyherald.com/discuss/20210428/editorial-media-literacy-bill-a-welcome-tool-in-the-fight-against-fake-news


  9. - vern - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 12:07 pm:

    ===How is this not a campaign violation?===

    Magic words test puts these squarely in the dark money category, unfortunately. I think LGIS is a 501(c)4, so as long as they’re not specifically telling people who to vote for they’re free to send issue mailers like these.


  10. - George Ryan Reynolds - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 12:09 pm:

    The Daily Herald motto is to “fear God, tell the truth and make money.”

    Seems like those last two are running smack dab into each other. And “make money” came out ahead because the Proft papers sure as hell ain’t telling the truth.


  11. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 12:10 pm:

    DH has some serious ’splainin to do.


  12. - Big Dipper - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 12:12 pm:

    ==much as CNN did when covering Trump rallies==

    Trump voters don’t watch CNN.


  13. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 12:14 pm:

    What exactly, going forward, is the *publishing* difference (not the hard working reporting) difference between the Daily Herald and Proft’s phony publishings?

    Nothing?


  14. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 12:18 pm:

    === if I dress myself in a giant chicken suit, that does not make me a chicken.===

    I dunno, are you trying to fool prove that you’re a chicken?

    See how dorm room logic works?

    According to your logic if you ethically get away with fooling folks, that’s look, even if it’s ethically wrong?


  15. - illini - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 12:20 pm:

    This is disturbing for so many reasons. Proft, LGIS, and their ilk have no respect for our system of government or for our laws and political norms. And the Daily Herald is culpable as well.

    And people can not understand why the media is held in such low esteem.


  16. - Herald Subscriber - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 12:20 pm:

    Couldn’t the postage permit have been as likely appropriated as willfully given?

    My respect for and trust in Paddock/the_Herald remains strong, and I expect a full public explanation from them as consistent with their previous correspondences.


  17. - Vote Quimby - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 12:21 pm:

    I checked the Daily Herald website, and currently there is no opening for “ethics officer.”

    My guess is they print many publications using their permit number and the print department doesn’t check for content.


  18. - Roadrager - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 12:25 pm:

    ==Trump voters don’t watch CNN.==

    They may not in 2022, but in 2015-16 CNN execs openly talked about how good for ratings/business their Trump rally coverage was, and it gave what had been a crackpot campaign an amount of airtime and legitimacy mere money could not buy.


  19. - Herald City Livin’ - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 12:30 pm:

    Anybody who heard jim Baumann at a headline club panel a couple years ago would not be surprised by this. He was crying that many of his far-right relatives think he be other journalists wake up each day and try to sell lies. I guess DH has found a fruitful partnership with someone who really does that.


  20. - XonXoff - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 12:32 pm:

    Apologies if I missed it but does DH print their own paper? And if yes, do they offer print/distro services for others?

    They wouldn’t, would they?


  21. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 12:34 pm:

    ===do they offer print/distro services for others? ===

    That is what I suspect may be going on here, which makes this a business choice. Nice for short-term, really bad for long-term, however.


  22. - Big Dipper - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 12:36 pm:

    You wonder what if any organizations they would turn down if they have no problem with a known liar.


  23. - Big Dipper - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 12:41 pm:

    ==but in 2015-16 CNN execs openly talked about how good for ratings/business their Trump rally coverage was==

    CNN viewers hatewatching a clown show doesn’t mean they voted for him.


  24. - Herald Subscriber - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 12:41 pm:

    Daily Herald [”employee owned”] is published [daily, hand delivered] by Paddock Publications in Arlington Heights.


  25. - Travel Guy - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 12:43 pm:

    ==My respect for and trust in Paddock/the_Herald remains strong, and I expect a full public explanation from them as consistent with their previous correspondences.==

    I suspect someone in their spin department is furiously working on developing a palatable explanation after the fact now that they were caught with their hand in the proverbial cookie jar. I wish them luck as an alleged provider of actual news.


  26. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 12:48 pm:

    === That is what I suspect may be going on here, which makes this a business choice. Nice for short-term, really bad for long-term, however.===

    Dollars over ethics?

    Looks like it?


  27. - Donnie Elgin - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 1:01 pm:

    This is a nothing burger - Proft is using a novel method for political advocacy. with no overt endorsements he is clearly using a USPS approved type of mail…

    Political Message Mail is any material mailed at First-Class Mail® or USPS Marketing Mail® prices by a political action committee (PAC), super-PAC, or other organization engaging in issue advocacy or voter mobilization.Political Mail may be sent for any public election – partisan or nonpartisan – for which there is a ballot.

    Paddock stamp use is simply part of a business service they likely provide to other publications that they print.


  28. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 1:04 pm:

    ===they likely provide to other publications that they print.===

    Fine. They should explain it.


  29. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 1:04 pm:

    === Paddock stamp use is simply part of a business service they likely provide to other publications that they print.===

    If one lacks ethics, it’s a nothing burger, lol

    It’s like taking lil ethics exams. Learning so much about folks.


  30. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 1:06 pm:

    ===explain===

    Maybe they themselves are learning that parsing their words to the apparent ethics question is tougher than merely saying “we do it all the time”

    It’s like their conscience is preventing the simple answer to be given.


  31. - Big Dipper - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 1:16 pm:

    ==Proft is using a novel method for political advocacy==

    Deception is novel?


  32. - twowaystreet - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 1:17 pm:

    The silence is deafening.


  33. - Lefty Lefty - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 1:17 pm:

    I’m canceling my subscription after I post this. I have received the Proft rag a few times already at my house addressed to my daughter for some reason. Maybe that’s another line of inquiry - where did the mailing list come from?


  34. - Michelle Flaherty - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 1:18 pm:

    The Daily Herald might be using its discount publication permit in kinda the same way Mike Madigan used the DPI discount mailing.

    Of course for the DH, if that is indeed what they are doing, there are rules and qualifications for using a periodical permit.

    https://faq.usps.com/s/article/What-is-Periodical-Class-Mail

    Lot’s of questions for them to sit down and explain publicly.


  35. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 1:20 pm:

    === The silence is deafening.===

    Besides the possible ethical lapse, if it’s merely a business decision are they going to mail for *anyone* even mailers stating Proft’s phony papers are, well, phony?

    It’s their conscience preventing a rational ethical response?

    The silence is deafening. Yep.


  36. - linky - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 1:23 pm:

    The shaw link doesn’t seem to be working. Just an FYI


  37. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 1:36 pm:

    ===link doesn’t seem to be working===

    Works for me. Not sure what to tell you.


  38. - Commissar Gritty - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 1:37 pm:

    @Vern

    I see your point but accusing one candidate of being a satanist or whatever while holding the other up as a flawless messiah is absolutely telling people how to vote, even if they don’t use those words explicitly.

    Our democracy will die on pedantic technicalities like this, wonderful


  39. - Michelle Flaherty - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 1:40 pm:

    Doug Rey confirms his company is publishing fake news.


  40. - Big Dipper - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 1:43 pm:

    Yeah just worked for me as well.


  41. - Big Dipper - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 1:45 pm:

    I think one could reasonably draw a distinction between a routine printing job and fake newspapers meant to mislead the electorate.


  42. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 1:47 pm:

    To the update, sorry boys. That’s not going to cut it. And the fact that they made no comment on what Proft is doing here (deception) shows that they have no qualms whatsoever being used like this. I would have no problem if they were printing identified political mail. But they are a newspaper company printing a bogus newspaper. They have an obligation to go beyond the usual drivel they put out.


  43. - Donnie Elgin - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 1:48 pm:

    “Where did the mailing list come from?”

    Can’t say for sure but the Proft papers are delivered to my household only for those that pull a Dem ballot in the primaries.


  44. - Michelle Flaherty - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 1:48 pm:

    Paddock Publications is allegedly employee owned. I wonder how the employee/owners at the Daily Herald feel about this? Were they consulted? Do they have a voice in the business practices of the company they are allegedly all owners of? Just wow.


  45. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 1:49 pm:

    ===The printing operation is a separate and distinct manufacturing business. Its operation has nothing to do with the editorial judgment or policies of the Daily Herald newspapers.===

    Hmm.

    I want to discuss this, very pointedly and specifically;

    “the editorial judgment or policies of the Daily Herald newspapers.”

    Ok. So, here’s the thing, and it’s an odd type of flex to champion, and want to get this right, sorry, one sec…

    “the editorial judgement”

    Ok, so… what is being said is this, ‘cause here is how it reads in exacting words, from a person who works where words matter;

    It’s cool that one arm of a business conducts its business… whatever… even if conducting that specified business product is wholly condemned by us newspaper folk as bad. We can live with duality that undercuts editorial integrity simply because the accounting where the dollars go to *different* business interests… it doesn’t interest the editorial integrity… in our *opinion*

    Is this no different than prohibitionists using the funding from a brewery they started?

    I’m kidding. Kidding.

    :)


  46. - Amalia - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 1:57 pm:

    Paddock Publications. We print (for) money.


  47. - Lincoln Lad - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 1:57 pm:

    A bit surprised by the thought that the Daily Herald would be above such a thing. In my own experience, there reporting has been far from stellar for many years. They are no shining light…never have been in my opinion.


  48. - Bud's Bar Stool - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 1:59 pm:

    So the publisher of the Daily Herald also is publishing (printing and mailing) Proft’s political propaganda (clearly disguised as bona fide news content to confuse voters), but Ray has no trouble with that?


  49. - XonXoff - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 1:59 pm:

    == Its operation has nothing to do with the editorial judgment or policies of the Daily Herald newspapers. ==

    Well, that’s a real good answer. Now we see how many remaining employees, subscribers and advertisers over at the ol’ newspaper are good with that.


  50. - ope - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 2:01 pm:

    Still true!

    “All we can do is point out to people that those publications are not what they may appear to be,” said Don Craven, president of the Illinois Press Association.


  51. - Michelle Flaherty - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 2:03 pm:

    Anyone advertising or sponsoring events via the Daily Herald and Paddock needs to think about who they are doing business with and what that company now represents.

    After doing a full “fight fake news” community campaign it comes to light that they are knowingly profiting off publishing fake news.


  52. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 2:26 pm:

    Since the Trib wants to weigh in, perhaps in the interest of integrity they will stop using the automatic dialers that spam my number up to 10x in a minute to try to get me to re-subscribe. That said, the Daily Herald’s association with this is reprehensible. You know, you can turn the business down to protect the reputation of your actual newspaper, right?


  53. - jimbo - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 2:28 pm:

    ==Can’t say for sure but the Proft papers are delivered to my household only for those that pull a Dem ballot in the primaries.==

    Confusingly, it’s the opposite in my household.


  54. - very old soil - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 2:28 pm:

    Maybe the postal inspectors should look into this


  55. - Annonin' - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 3:10 pm:

    Proft has been mailing those papers for years. Wonder if he has used the DH permit too. Someone could ask the DH how much they made.
    Is now the time to recall the phony mail in ballot scandal out in Rock Island a few cycles back. Post master found a PO Box loaded with ballot requests and completed ballots that never made it to the country clerk. All the ballot material vanished, probe went nowhere…but a single…woman rented the boxes.


  56. - Walker - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 3:29 pm:

    Embarrassing side business because Proft’s broadsides are destructive to democracy in that they produce blatant falsehoods that mislead voters into voting against their own interests.

    However if DH stands by its “no editorial involvement” then it works both ways. They also should not restrict what their commercial printing customers do politically


  57. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 3:44 pm:

    =The printing operation is a separate and distinct manufacturing business. Its operation has nothing to do with the editorial judgment or policies of the Daily Herald newspapers.=

    If this is a publicly traded company and they do not have two different stock issues then they are the same company.


  58. - Pundent - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 3:55 pm:

    So Ray hates that they’re profiting from this just as much as we do?


  59. - Da big bad wolf - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 4:03 pm:

    I’m sad. This like hearing Clark Kent is working for Lex Luther.


  60. - Give Us Barabbas - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 4:17 pm:

    Should somebody at Board of Elections be looking at this for improper in-kind contributions, not listed on the D-1 or D-2?


  61. - Skokie Man - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 5:12 pm:

    I’d like someone to ask Mr. Ray if they’d do a print run for the Neo-Nazi Daily Stormer. If yes, then we know they’ll do anything for money. If no, the follow up questions are pretty obvious.


  62. - IT Guy - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 6:44 pm:

    I was considering a subscription to the DH but now I’m going to wait until there is a better explanation on this.


  63. - Herald Subscriber - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 7:30 pm:

    I’ve been print subscribed to the Daily Herald for 2+ years now, since the Trib went worthless and Pioneer Press defunct. It’s always been a good relationship and I value their local reporting, and have no disputes with their aggregation of broader sources.
    Direct email correspondence from them to print only subscribers is not sparse. I’m sure this unfortunate product out of Paddock is not of their culture, and that they will likely sever the relationship with LGIS (which btw has been beaten up by Propublica lately as part of their exposure of the larger national swarm of Pink Slimers fake news outlets).
    Readers here are encouraged to be[come] familiar with mediabiasfactcheck.com


  64. - Tony DeKalb - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 9:13 pm:

    This poor decision making at the top is going to ultimately impact the hard working people at the DH, which is sad. But what an awful response from the publisher.


  65. - Separate? - Tuesday, Sep 20, 22 @ 11:20 pm:

    The term “fake news” obviously started as a sinister attack on objective reporting. Proft took it to another level with look-alike papers that must be the ultimate insult to real journalists. Paddock claims these fakes are “separate and distinct” - but gives them access to their mail permit? C’mon. Sad to see what had been a trusted suburban daily selling credibility to manipulators.


  66. - Mark Suchin - Thursday, Sep 22, 22 @ 9:22 am:

    Don Craven now aware he has a new board member from them?


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