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Local paper gets U.S. Capitol insurrection fallout story way, way wrong

Photo Credit: fotosipsak/iStock Photo

Here’s a dumb local media story for you: regarding obviously, ahem, disinterested parties who want a congressional candidate removed from a city commission over a social media post.

Dear effing lawd.

A guy named Dwight Williams said in the public comments section of this week’s Waynesboro City Council meeting that Jennifer Lewis, who is running for the Democratic Party congressional nomination in the Sixth District in the 2022 campaign cycle, “publicly attacked and defamed a resident” and caused “pain and suffering.”

This per our local news outlet, The News Virginian.

Disclaimer: I’m a News Virginian alum, circa 1995-2000.

I’d rather you not know that right now, considering.

This particular dumb brouhaha being stoked for clicks relates to Lewis posting on Facebook about a local resident who was on the scene on Jan. 6 as a pro-Trump mob breached the United States Capitol as Congress was meeting to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election.

The House, earlier today, voted by a bipartisan 232-197 majority to send articles of impeachment charging Trump with having incited the insurrection to the U.S. Senate.

Which is to say, what happened last week in D.C. was no insignificant matter.

But to the local paper, the issue isn’t with a group trying to overturn the results of a presidential election.

It’s a woman who is planning to run for Congress who happens to be a member of a city commission, and something she wrote on Facebook.

“Lewis’ post said the resident participated in a ‘revolution.’ There was no revolution, and the resident did no such thing,” Williams said. “This in no way brings a community together, and for someone who holds an appointed position on a city commission, there’s a higher standard that needs to be followed.”

The paper did note in its report that Williams is the vice chair of the Sixth District Republican Committee, i.e., dude isn’t just some random guy.

But this tidbit didn’t come until the seventh paragraph of the story, and then, wouldn’t you know it, the report gave the guy an additional 111 words to make his politicized case after identifying him?

Lewis, we were told by the paper, declined comment, because of safety concerns.

I’ll report here: what I’m being told is that the “safety concerns” involve death threats.

Fucking death threats.

The report goes on to give the person supposedly defamed plenty of rope – 152 words – to accuse Lewis of “slandering people because they disagree on things,” conveniently not naming the woman.

Some kind of kangaroo court, this one.

Anonymous people get to accuse actual people of slander, and can’t defend themselves because other anonymous people are threatening them.

America, 2021.

Then we get this dumb comment from Waynesboro Mayor Bobby Henderson: “On behalf of Waynesboro City Council, I’ve asked staff and the city attorney to review relevant code sections and other guiding documents to examine the authority and criteria by which the council appoints or removes individuals from various boards, commissions and committees.”

We deserve better here in Waynesboro – from our local newspaper, certainly from that guy masquerading as our mayor.

Note to all y’all folks: the bad guy here isn’t the person who posted something on Facebook.

The line starts at whoever it is issuing death threats, then, honestly, the newspaper giving oxygen to the bullies is pretty high up the list itself.

Story by Chris Graham

augusta free press
augusta free press