Some Mason City City Council members have been unhappy lately with what has been written about them in the media and have openly expressed their displeasure. Most of the criticism is aimed at the Globe Gazette and NorthIowaToday.com. Here’s what they have said.|Some Mason City City Council members have been unhappy lately with what has been written about them in the media and have openly expressed their displeasure. Most of the criticism is aimed at the Globe Gazette and NorthIowaToday.com.
Council members Don Nelson and Max Weaver are unhappy with some of the stories published in the Globe Gazette.
In a letter to John Skipper, a Globe Gazette reporter, Nelson says “Your articles, since Mayor Bookmeyer has been in office (past 14 months) appears to me and other City Council members (maybe 2 others) to be usually in support, defensive of our Mayor’s actions, on rare exceptions your (sic) writing on a positive, supportive position concerning the City Council’s actions.”
NorthIowaToday.com also came into possession of several email transcripts traded between Weaver and Howard Query, the Publisher at the Globe Gazette.
In those emails, Weaver tries to bring to Query’s attention what Weaver calls Skipper’s “inability to report the news accurately and unbiased.” Weaver tells Query that “Skipper is again leaving out critical information and spoon feeding your reader’s (sic) and our citizen’s (sic)” when referring to a story Skipper wrote on the Mayor’s right to appoint to boards and commissions.”
Council member Scott Tornquist has been critical of NorthIowaToday.com.
NorthIowaToday.com recently published an article by Weaver, titled “The Ruse: The Pot and the Kettle exposed (by Max Weaver)” in which Weaver explains his political maneuvering involving the true “genesis” of attempts to possibly cut the Human Rights Department in Mason City. Weaver was especially critical of Tornquist and Mayor Eric Bookmeyer in that article.
A few hours after the article was published, Mayor Bookmeyer sent Tornquist an email with the subject line “You should look at this…” and the body of the email was the story Weaver wrote. Tornquist replied to Bookmeyer the next morning, saying “Eric- I’ve told you before, and I’m telling you for the last time, I do not want anything to do with this website. I do not have room in my life for this crap … do not send me information from this website. If I want to know what’s posted there, I’ll go there myself. I suggest you have a problem if you are up at 12:30 am screwing with this stuff.”
When asked why he has an issue with information published in NorthIowaToday.com, Tornquist replied “You are publishing anything and everything; there is no editorial filter. Most of the stuff I have read to date has no basis in fact; it is based mostly upon rumor, innuendo, and is full of personal attacks and character assassinations. That is not healthy for the community.”
NorthIowaToday.com is based on citizen journalism, meaning it will feature editorials, stories, photos and videos regular North Iowans want to publish or share with the public as long as the material adheres to our terms of service.
“Freedom of speech is protected by the first amendment, and my goal is to give regular people the voice they may not have had until now,” Publisher Matt Marquardt said.
“The U.S. Supreme Court recently stated that freedom of speech must be protected on public issues to ensure that public debate is not stifled. I think that applies here in North Iowa as well, even if some public officials wish the public would keep quiet.”|