For the last several years this site has derided the
Asbury Park Press Editorial Board Neptune Nudniks for their ignorance of the facts and processes about which they opine, and for their religious bigotry.
The Nudniks’ editorial today about the controversy surrounding the emails exchanged between Middletown Library Director Susan O’Neal and Democratic candidate for Middletown Township Committee Linda Baum is a firing offense. They apparently didn’t even read or comprehend their own reporter’s article about the issue, before publishing their ignorant opinion.
APP reporter Suzanne Cervenka reported the story accurately on July 4. Middletown Township Committeeman Tony Fiore made an OPRA request for emails between O’Neal and Baum. Baum took the issue to Court, arguing that the emails were private, had nothing to do with library operations and that she in no way acted as an agent of the library. Judge Lawrence M. Lawson ruled that, as a matter of law, the emails were government documents subject to OPRA and ordered them released.
In their editorial, the Nudniks said that Fiore took the matter to Court when in fact Baum took the matter to Court. They said Lawson should have refused to hear the matter. If Lawson kept the Court out of it, the emails would have been released without Baum being heard on the matter. The Nudniks said Fiore was being petty for following his instincts that O’Neal was undermining the public’s oversight of the $4.6 million dollar operation she directs.
Monmouth and Ocean County citizens deserve better from their largest newspaper/news site. We’ve deserved better for a long time. We should demand better.
Ordinary citizens can only demand a better work product by refusing to buy an inferior product. But that doesn’t solve the need for well informed and accurate news source.
Our elected and political leaders can demand better and send a message with teeth.
Every year, the editorial board brings county and legislative candidates in for debates before the Nudniks issue their endorsements. All county and legislative candidates should refuse to participate this year.
Instead, all candidates should agree to debate before a consortium of local news sources. Representatives of RedBankGreen, AsburyParkSun, GreaterMedia, Patch, NJ.com and any other local news sources should come together at either Monmouth University or Brookdale College to interview the candidates. Make it an educational experience for the Communications students who could produce a video of the event that all news sites would agree to publish. Invite Cervenka to participate for APP since she seems to have journalistic integrity. If MMM is invited, which we want to be, invite a left-leaning blogger to offset our perceived bias.
Party Chairmen John Bennett and Vin Gopal should get behind this idea.
The Asbury Park Press Editorial Board no longer warrants being called the paper of record for Monmouth County. Our elected and political leaders have the power to send them a message that Gannett executives in Virginia will hear.