– On February 21, 2013, this Blog welcomed Michael Wagar to his new NVN post.
This month marks his 4th anniversary at the Yelm newspaper.
Mr. Wagar came to town with welcome excitement from the newspaper’s readers for the change in leadership, and especially when he announced he would not be our friend nor our enemy, though we could expect of him to be fair and balanced. While Wagar has vastly greatly improved the overall quality of the Nisqually Valley News from predecessor Keven Graves, the newspaper has denigrated this last year from what Wagar called “fair and balanced,” to one that omitted facts, ran roughshod over the facts, or skewed the facts apparently just to sell newspapers. Of course any story published about Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment (RSE) and or JZ Knight is an NVN publisher’s dream, usually generating their greatest print edition sales, commentary, and online views, I “get it.”
The NVN’s commitment to balance and fairness seemingly took a back seat to selling newspapers in 2016.
The following are a few examples:
– “Does the NVN advocate reigning-in Council by ‘measured’ dissent?
Troubling signs from local newspaper engender this question”
– “Dr. Miceal Ledwith should be issued a formal apology” [by the NVN]
– “NVN does not endorse candidates, what instead?
Democratic candidates ‘hit pieces’ every election cycle, targeting JZ Knight’s donations to intimidate voters.” Yet NVN omits Republican turned ‘Independent’ candidates’ large donors list.
– Mr. Wagar totally changed the intent/context of my Pastor Adams IRS filing in his titled Op-Ed:
“Free-Flow of Ideas Is at the Heart of Our Freedoms”
I responded: “Mr. Wagar missed the point. Pastor Adams can say whatever he wants as I told the reporter who quoted me in the front-page story. What he cannot do is use a 501(c)(3) organization to promote a political candidate. That violates IRS rules. Adams’ church wants 501(c)(3) status to receive tax-deductible donations from his parishioners. That comes with a price, and it has nothing to do with freedom of speech. IRS Revenue Ruling 2007-41 says a church pastor or minister may mention a candidate or a near future election but may not speak in favor of (or encourage the congregation to vote for or against) a particular candidate. Examples of Prohibited Activities:1. Publicly endorsing or opposing a particular candidate or political party in any written or verbal publication or correspondence.”
– Bottom Line:
While the technological age is placing intense pressure on the newspaper industry’s survival, I would hope that fair and balanced reporting here would not be sacrificed just to sell newspapers and make a buck, especially at the expense of unduly decimating people’s reputations. Hopefully, that will be in the past as Wagar embarks on his 5th year at the NVN’s helm. I support Mr. Wagar and wish him well in fulfilling his New Year’s Resolution in saying, “My hope is for the community to come together from all sides to make Yelm the best it can be; that we do so in an uplifting spirit with respect and joy on a day-to-day basis.” Yelm has such a wonderful and diverse range of talent that cries for leadership in uniting the sum of the parts to create a synergistic and greater whole for grand achievements here. One can hope the NVN is one of those uplifting voices.
Congratulations to Mr. Wagar for taking a stand for the future in his 2017 Resolution!
Blogger Klein is a retired employee and current consultant to JZK, Inc., in his 32nd year as a student of Ramtha.