* Background is here if you need it. The Pritzker campaign sent a letter today to Daily Herald publisher Doug Ray…
I am writing on behalf of the JB For Governor Campaign to express our extreme disappointment and utter shock regarding Paddock Publications Inc., the employee-owned parent company of the Daily Herald, allegedly lending its bulk mail permit to Local Government Information Services.
As you know, Local Government Information Services (LGIS) is the right-wing organization headed by Republican political strategist Dan Proft that is responsible for the onslaught of fake and misleading newspaper-style mailers that have been arriving in mailboxes across Illinois. These mailers are specifically designed to mislead readers into thinking they are legitimate journalism when in reality they are unlabeled ads attacking political candidates. Many residents who’ve received these pink slime reports shared that they never subscribed to LGIS and had no interest in receiving them in the first place.
These fake newspapers represent an existential threat to quality, independent journalism––making it all the more unfathomable Paddock would cast its journalistic responsibility aside in the name of profit. Furthermore, by allowing these fraudulent mailers to share a permit with the Daily Herald, Paddock is actively undermining the good work that the legitimate reporters at the Daily Herald do every day to combat the rising wave of misinformation and fake news.
Let me be clear: this is not an indictment of the hardworking journalists that accurately report the news for the Daily Herald. Rather, this is a five-alarm fire for those who thought it was acceptable to inundate Illinoisians with partisan propaganda and downright lies––threatening the important role trusted journalism plays in our media ecosystem.
We simply cannot participate in a forum organized by the same organization that seems to have willingly shared a postage permit with a partisan political entity dedicated to slandering the governor and his policies. Moreover, we believe that Paddock owes it to Daily Herald readers to publicly disclose exactly what arrangements were made with Dan Proft and LGIS.
The governor would be glad to sit down with one of the independent reporters at the Herald. As the third largest paper in the state, the Herald is a trusted news source for many across Illinois. However, until the issue of permitting is resolved, Governor Pritzker will not be participating in the Daily Herald’s Candidate Forum.
At a time when trust in media is at historic lows, and independent journalism is more important than ever, we must demand more from those responsible for disseminating the news. We look forward to working together to oppose these partisan efforts to deceive the very citizens truthful journalism is meant to serve.
JB For Governor
*** UPDATE 1 *** Well, this is interesting…
*** UPDATE 2 *** Press release…
People Who Play By The Rules PAC President Dan Proft has issued a statement in response to JB Pritzker pulling out of a Daily Herald Candidate Forum:
Proft: “Governor Pritzker believes his money guarantees him control of government and entitles him to make all media subservient to his government. He lords over Illinois through executive orders. He sees the Fourth Estate as no different than his equestrian estate in Wellington, FL. If he doesn’t like a television ad, it must be taken off the air. If he doesn’t like a newspaper, it must not be printed or circulated. Lord Pritzker is the truth. All commentary that deviates from his decrees shall be expunged and the offending commentators declared illegitimate. In short, he is a bedwetting, spoiled brat who thinks an election is about his ambitions rather than Illinois families’ aspirations.”
*** UPDATE 3 *** Press Release from the Illinois Associated Press Media Editors…
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker announced today he would not participate in a governor candidates interview with members of the Illinois Associated Press Media Editors that was previously agreed to and scheduled for Sept. 30.
The JB For Governor Campaign sent a letter to Paddock Publications Inc., the employee-owned parent company of the Daily Herald, “demanding answers related to why they allowed Dan Proft’s pink slime journalism to share their postage permit. The Governor will not be participating in any candidate forums hosted by the Daily Herald until Paddock publicly discloses exactly what arrangements were made with Dan Proft and his company, Local Government Information Services.”
The Illinois Associated Press Media Editors is the host of the forums involving candidates for Governor, U.S. Senate, Attorney General and Secretary of State, not the Daily Herald, said Dennis Anderson, IAPME President and Vice President of News & Content Development for Shaw Media.
Videos and news coverage of the forums is to be shared through Capitol News Illinois and more than 20 newspapers across Illinois this fall in advance of the Nov. 8 election. The Daily Herald is an IAPME member.
“The Daily Herald, the State Journal-Register in Springfield and Capitol News Illinois were each involved in planning the interview with the governor’s race candidates,” Anderson said Thursday. “A Daily Herald representative sent out the invitations to Gov. Pritzker and Republican candidate Darren Bailey.
“On behalf of our membership and our readers throughout Illinois, it is IAPME’s hope the governor has a change of heart and takes part in the interview. The interviews are meant to share the candidates’ views on issues impacting all Illinoisans. This is an important election for the future of Illinois and it’s vital that voters have a chance to hear from the candidates directly.”