Smear campaign exposed

Well, it looks like I’m under attack again from my friendly local newspaper, the Grand Junction Sentinel. I guess that’s what I get for making its bully-boy publisher look foolish in the”fake news” flap. The publisher seems determined to damage my reputation at every turn, by treating tiny non-stories like Watergate scoops. If there was a Pulitzer Prize for grudge journalism, he might win it one day. But otherwise, he’s just wasting good trees and misusing professional journalists to settle his personal scores. He is enforcing the old saying”Don’t throw rocks if you live in a glass house”.

First came last Sunday’s Front Page blockbuster, breathlessly reporting that I occasionally block people from my personal Facebook page, when I find their posts to be unacceptably nasty, misleading, redundant or off-point. Every American enjoys the right to speak freely. What a few chronically disgruntled critics also now want to claim is the”right” to be heard – the”right” to take over my social media platform and turn it into a tool for attacking me.

I had little to say in response to reporter questions, because it was all new to me and, rather than just responding off-the-cuff, I first wanted guidance from our Statehouse legal staff on whether or how this applies to me and my colleagues. But the Sentinel wasn’t going to hold off publishing its massive scoop, until after our attorneys have some analysis to offer on whether one obscure court case in Virginia even has relevance in Colorado. So it devoted almost all of a lengthy front page story to the complaints of two or three of my critics, enraged because they can’t take control of my personal Facebook page.

Predictably, the one-sided”news piece” was followed a day or so later by a second attack, this time from the editorial page, which the partisan publisher uses as his personal megaphone and machete. A journalist on staff was tasked with teeing-up the ball, so the publisher could take another opportunity to tee-off on me. That’s par for the course these days with the Sentinel.

Now, in a bid to prolong their 15 minutes of fame, at my expense, the foiled Facebook pirates have taken things another step, by accusing me of unethical behavior and an alleged violation of their rights in a letter to Senate Leadership. Naturally, that generated a new story today, giving the paper another opportunity to make me look bad and gin-up controversy. Will the editorial page complete the one-two punch? Would anyone be surprised?

But the paper isn’t through using me as a punching bag yet.

Another story is coming about a lawsuit I filed against a manufacturer who wronged my company a few years back. I have no idea what spin they’ll apply to this story, since the still-open suit is a personal business matter that has nothing to do with my elected position. Because the case is ongoing, there’s little at this point to report about whether I will win or lose albeit the federal judge has ruled in my favor on three out of four counts. But we’ve now seen how little it takes to generate another unflattering Ray Scott story in the Sentinel, so I have to anticipate the worse.

By Ray Scott