"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"

"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"
aka "Miss Victory"

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Indy Star Publisher, Dennis Ryerson, responds to Melyssa's Letter

Dennis Ryerson responded to the letter Melyssa wrote to the Indy Star regarding biased reporting by the Indy Star of last week's activist event at the democratic fundraiser which targeted only minority business owners. Minorities, upset with the representation they receive by council democrats, attended the activist event but were not quoted by the Indy Star. The event was scheduled to bring attention to the city's lack of accountablity regarding minority business contract awards.

Here is his letter:
A couple of points, Melyssa:

1) No, we absolutely don't have the administration clear stories before we print them. Indeed, the administration views us as the opposition this fall because they don't think the Republican or Libertarian candidates present a threat. An independent observer, reading our news coverage and editorials, I'm sure would conclude that we are in no way in the pocket of the City/County building.

2) The Star is doing better than most newspapers in terms of circulation. And Gannett's stock is doing better than all all other newspaper companies. Newspapers still make a lot of money, but because of advertising consolidation and Internet competition, not as much as before, which of course makes Wall Street unhappy. Our websites are doing better than most newspapers our size. We are one of the top 20 news sites getting Google referrals, which is pretty good considering The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, the networks, and other much larger news organizations generate a lot of traffic. 3) Having said all of that, we are far from perfect and need to improve every day. As to your identification, when was your legal case with the city closed?

Here is Melyssa's response:
Thank you for contacting me, Mr. Ryerson. I will publish your response to me on the HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAXATION blog so that our readers can hear your side of the Star's position.

As far as circulation and stock of Gannett, I am only citing what I read. I know newspapers around the country struggle as more and more people get their news on line. I know you have to get smarter and better every day if you want to stay alive. And I also know advertisers demand bang for their buck. I sell advertising for a living.

To answer your question my legal case was finally closed last month and the Star reported on it, albeit not indepth. The city's dismissal offer was withdrawn after I circulated a recorded call in which Kobi Wright (city's corporate counsel) attempted to intimidate me by falsely telling me it is illegal to record calls. Why is it that our tax dollar paid corporate counsel does not know state law? Judge Keele made the city file its original dismissal offer at a subsequent hearing. It was the judge who suggested dismissal in the first place....but only after 20+ months of litigation on the taxpayer dime.. I believe that the judge did not want that flimsy lawsuit in his court any longer.

I also further angered Kobi Wright when I confronted him at public tax forum about the fact that the city did nothing about my complaint (and witness affidavit) that I was called a "bull dyke" by IFD Chief Greeson while in uniform at a CCC meeting because I asked him if he would give up his seat to the taxpayers who were locked out and forced to wait in the heat. It was the very next day that the city's offer to dismiss was pulled from the table. My lawyer got a call from city zoning attorney, Teri Kendrick, who said her bosses made her pull the offer.(I attached a copy of the witness affidavit and Kobi Wright's phone call so you can see hard documentation).

You should know that while the mayor has libeled me many times by stating on the indygov site that I owned illegal adult businesses, the city attorney admitted at the Dec 1 2005 press conference that neither of my businesses were considered adult only when asked by the media (who I tipped off). I was used to divert attention away from the city council business back in December 2005.

Last Sunday's Star article brought up my former career of two years ago. The reporter did not contact the activists for a quote to get an understanding as to why we were at the democratic fundraiser taking photos. We were there because the fundraiser only targeted minority business owners and attempted to incite fear in their businesses if they didn't keep Monroe Gray in office.

We were also there because the mayor's office will not give access to the MBE contract numbers for 2005 and 2006. The mayor stated publicly that minority contracts made up 22% of city contracts, yet African American lawyer and tax activist Darla Williams found only 1 to 2% of the city's budget in 2004 was given to MBE's. African American activists (including democrats) who are outraged over what the current administration is doing in regard to the minority community, were with us. Why was my former career as a dominatrix more relevant in the Star's coverage than the reason we were there? Too bad your readers did not get the benefit of knowing the full story. If you want to cover this story indepth, I am happy to get you together with the people who are researching what is going on with the city's MBE contracts. There is indeed a story there.

Thanks for your attention to this matter. Truth, accountablity, and integrity in reporting are important.

Melyssa Donaghy, volunteer


Anonymous said...

Dear Melyssa,

Though we have never met, I am disheartened by your resignation from the Taxation Group but totally understand your decision. This is exactly the goal of Bart & Company to dis-inform, discredit and disengage any and all credible opposition. Liberal wags such as Denny, Amos and Jen are willing pawns who have sold their souls to spread the PC, Secular Liberal Agenda and who by doing so have weakened this Great Nation. Unless unchecked this November, Bart & Company will continue to drag Marion County down into the dregs of total disparity. His simple willing minions are easily appeased with titles, no accountability high paying government jobs, badges and the appearance of power and appointed prestige. Fight the Good Fight and Continued Success in All of Your Endeavors.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dennis,

I recently came across Melyssa Donaghy’s letter to the IndyStar in regards to the biased reporting and I must agree with her premise.
Far too often I’ve found the news to be incomplete while watching investigative journalism and fear-induced hysteria to be the leading brand of providing the public with critical information about their community. I have seen the rise in citizen journalists such as myself as the blogs and new forms of communication take precedence leading to better information and a means to connect with those who desire to make our city a better place. In the past several months, I have grown to know Melyssa and I respect her sacrifices in educating the public about the deep corruption within our local government. I have also spoken directly to countless others who also have been intimidated from speaking out while having their jobs contacted, being followed by unmarked police cars while oftentimes pulled over without discretion, and the countless other means to suppress activism. Because of my concerns, I have lost faith in local media and have decided that the time for a rEVOLution is upon us and using the spelling of Ron Paul’s campaign for US President, I am watching an expediential growth of like-minded individuals who care too much for our nation to allow it to fall any further. I hope and pray that you and other news organizations realize the importance of people like Melyssa and others who are truly hero’s in our community.

With hope,

Wayne Kirk
WeDeclare.us News Editor

Also, as a side note, I do not wish to alienate most of the Indianapolis Metro Police Officers as I have met some wonderful people who serves the public with diligence and professionalism, but for a few of those who give a bad name to the department, shame on you.

Melyssa said...

Thanks for your support. Don't worry, I have not quit. I'm stepping back as media contact and letting another activist do it. I will be busy as a bee behind the scenes...and you can count on that.

Max Katz is the perfect choice and will put a fresh face of youth on our activism. He is passionate about Liberty, serves God and serves the people.

armed right wing citizen said...

"No, we absolutely don't have the administration clear stories before we print them."


"Indeed, the administration views us as the opposition this fall because they don't think the Republican or Libertarian candidates present a threat."


"An independent observer, reading our news coverage and editorials, I'm sure would conclude that we are in no way in the pocket of the City/County building."

Even more bulls***.