Tuesday, March 22, 2016

"Unpaid" Trib political columnist question, please

Hello Matthew,

I'm researching a story, and I was recently reading your (interesting, and well-done) blog, at this link:

... where you write:

"The local newspaper, the San Luis Obispo Tribune, has 'hired' me as their conservative columnist in an expansion of the Hoystory media empire. Hired in the 'you're doing this for free' sense of the word. I'm normally opposed to working for free because that devalues my work product."

Then, tagged at the end of your Trib columns, at this link, for example:

... it reads:

"Conservative writer Matthew Hoy is a former reporter, editor and page designer. His column appears in The Tribune every other Sunday, in rotation with liberal columnist Tom Fulks."

Now, about a year and a half ago, I published a story on my blog, at this link:

... where I show, using primary sources, of course, how local politicians, like County Supervisor, Bruce Gibson, pay Tom Fulks tens of thousands of dollars to be their little "evil genius in the back room" (Gibson's phrase), where Fulks then sneaks around on the Internet (and elsewhere [i.e. The Trib]) and character-assassinates (or at least attempts to character-assassinate) anyone (especially media-types) that is/are critical of Tom's clients.

Now, the editors at the Trib also call Tom an "unpaid freelancer," however, as I show in my piece, he's actually highly paid to do things like write his Trib column -- it is simply part of his "evil genius in the back room" duties. The twist, of course, is that his pay comes from his clients (i.e. local politicians, like Gibson), and not from the Trib, so, in Tom's case, when the Trib's editors refer to him as "unpaid," I always have to point out that that is more accurately described as "'unpaid' [HUGE finger quotes]."

Additionally, if you read through Tom's columns, you'll see that in nearly every column, Tom attempts to character-assassinate his clients' critics... you know, because that's exactly what Tom's clients pay him BIG bucks to do.

However, in your columns, I notice how you do not attempt to character-assassinate everyone/anyone that's critical of the conservative politicians in SLO County, so, I'm assuming that you are NOT being paid by local politicians to do their... uh, "back room" dirty work.

So, that's my question: Are you, like the Trib's other "unpaid" [HUGE finger quotes] local-politics columnist, Tom Fulks, also paid by local politicians to do their "back room" dirty work?

I have a feeling that the answer to that question is, "no," and, if so, then I have another question: Considering that you are "normally opposed to working for free because that devalues (your) work product," do you think it's fair that Fulks actually gets paid BIG bucks for his "unpaid" column, and you don't?

Here's a (cropped) screenshot of one of Gibson's 2014 campaign finance disclosure forms, that shows a "$10,000" payment to "Tom Fulks," for "consulting" [wink, wink], with thousands of dollars of more payments in several other of Gibson's campaign finance disclosure forms:

Thank you,

P.S: This email automatically posted to my blog, SewerWatch, at this link:

Thanks again.

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