• The Importance Of 'Independent' Local Media

    August 29, 2023
    Screenshot, Hearst Media Group.

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    Back in the fall of 2022 I wrote an article titled “Free Speech is Suffocating Under Blue-Captured Connecticut’s ‘Iron Cloak’ of Corporate Media.” It was picked up and published by the CT ExaminerThe Connecticut Centinal and The Continental Tribune.

    These three are genuinely independent publications, but cover state-wide stories and events.

    The background is that six years ago, the huge and sprawling Hearst Media corporation established Hearst Connecticut Media Group (HCMG) to acquire CT media properties. HCMG now owns nine daily newspapers, 13 weekly papers and CT Magazine.  Though some have state-wide reach, most are centered in, and focused on Fairfield County. The acquired news outlets range from the larger Connecticut Post and Stamford Advocate, to town papers such as the Trumbull Times and New Canaan Advertiser. In Connecticut’s 4th Congressional District alone, Hearst has acquired the leading town/city paper in 13 of the 17 towns in the district. Unless you’re in Monroe, Oxford, Redding, or Weston, your town’s paper is owned by Hearst Media.

    With its editorials and story slant, Hearst has proven itself as no friend of the free-speech rights of Republicans, or any citizen on the right side of the political spectrum. In the Hearst local papers there’s little commenting allowed on editorials or op-eds, and only subscribers can comment on some articles the editor deems open for comment. Many won’t take letters-to-the-editor or op-eds from the general public either – you need to be someone credentialed. There’s also a single editorial board and a couple writers who pen the editorials, which appear in all the town papers simultaneously. The editorials provide a steady diet of progressivism, with regular salvos of ridicule sprinkled in for anyone among the public who speaks out against the progressive corporate or establishment line. Because of this arrangement, free-speech here in Fairfield County, and indeed much of Connecticut, has now been effectively suffocated. The couple truly-independent local media outlets are practically drowned out of the community conversation and the reporting of news.

    In four towns of our 4th District, the remaining ostensibly ‘independent’ town papers largely echo the establishment/corporate view in their news coverage. For Conservatives and Republicans to get their views presented accurately and fairly, they have to rely on the three state-wide outlets which printed my article plus The Connecticut Star. After that we’re left with the Patch, Voice, and local blogs. This arrangement is of incalculable benefit to incumbent Democrats seeking to hold onto their seats forever. 

    One such incumbent Democrat is Jim Himes, and true to his duplicitous nature, on August 25th, placed this op-ed, Why Local Newspapers Matter, in the Greenwich Sentinel. Though Himes was careful to place his op-ed in a local not owned by Hearst, the Sentinel nonetheless, is always happy to advance the Progressive line. (The Greenwich Time is the local Hearst creature). Himes’ op-ed is a case-study in how to ‘gaslight’ your constituents. 

    In the piece, Himes decries the national wave of local paper closures, but never recognizes the alarming trend of corporate acquisitions, like Hearst, effectively stifling competition and the diversity of views.  He then laments that, “Insufficient access to local news has been linked to less competitive elections and the entrenchment of the party line” .... the precise condition that has kept him in power!!

    He continues, “The core tenet of any democracy is that community is strengthened by a multitude of voices... Debate without fear of censorship is perhaps our nation’s greatest asset.” Himes has the audacity to write this while over the past two years it has been well documented in the free press and congressional hearings, that the leading social media companies, Twitter and Facebook, simply delete and censor Conservative speech on their platforms.  That “core tenet” of democracy has already been eclipsed.

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    Indeed, the very day I opened my campaign Facebook account, I was immediately greeted with the following e-mail message from Meta: After a review of your Business Account, MacGuffie for Congress, its access to advertising is now restricted because of inauthentic behavior or violations of our Advertising Policies or Community Standards. Any ads connected to this account that were running are now disabled.” I hadn’t posted a thing – yet they were blocking my campaign before it commenced – jumping the gun and revealing their agenda... and clearly exposing themselves. There is no question of the massive media censorship we must surmount.

    Himes’ gaslighting missive continues, “Debate without fear of censorship is perhaps our nation’s greatest asset.” Again from Mr. Himes – a 180 degree inversion of reality in CT-4! While press releases from CT Republican candidates are routinely ‘round-filed’ by Hearst, its writers have been known to flow passages from Himes’ press releases straight into their stories, word-for-word. 

    A year out from the election, Himes is well underway, attempting his bi-annual routine of erecting the false platform of a Moderate, supported by mendacious assertions, designed to mislead his constituents into believing they are represented in the main-stream. WE are not! As many of my prior updates have documented, Jim Himes VOTES with the most extreme elements of the Democrat party, because he is one with them.

    There will be more such Himes gambits deployed against our interests over the next year. And I will be sure to expose each and every one. Himes will be denied the opportunity to yet again erect his Potemkin façade to hide his extreme voting record, and failure to REPRESENT the interests of the solid citizens of CT-4.

    Jim Himes is NO Moderate

    And he proves it every week!



    Bob MacGuffie

    Bob MacGuffie is currently seeking the Republican congressional nomination to oppose Jim Himes in the 2024 election: www.bobmacforcongress.com

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