Letter: Not Mazerall’s fault but Monadnock Ledger-Transcript's

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 10:17AM
Not Mazerall’s fault but MLT’s

To the editor:

Your front-page lead story in the August 24 edition, “All Bottled Up,” detailing local Trump campaign chairman Christopher Mazerall’s trip to last weekend’s “free speech” rally in Boston, raises serious questions about the Ledger-Transcript’s news coverage. News is the operative word. The fact that Mr. Mazerall is a political operative for the Trump campaign is not the issue. Let Mr. Mazerall recount at great length, if you wish, his views and experiences — but in the paper’s “Letters” section.

The Ledger-Transcript is an independent newspaper — and we in the Monadnock region are grateful for that integrity. This is the second time, however, that the paper has compromised, wittingly or unwittingly, the norms of that integrity while covering Mr. Mazerall’s Trump-related peregrinations; I refer to the front-page article in the April 27, 2017, edition, “Jaffrey Resident Recalls Visit to the White House.” There Mr. Mazerall — not an MLT reporter, not an MLT editor — was allowed to write his own story, which contained this amazing statement in the third sentence of his lead: “I assured them [the White House] that they still have my full support and by addressing voter fraud concerns, we should have a clear path to victory in the next election.” This despite Republican and Democratic agreement that there is no reputable evidence of voter fraud in this country, and most especially not in New Hampshire.

In last Thursday’s edition, you again allowed a photograph of Mr. Mazerall promoting “voter fraud” allegations to appear on the front page in the lead story. Mr. Mazerall claims that he was en route to Boston to speak to the Free Speech Coalition about voter fraud in New Hampshire but was “running late on his way to the event.” Mr. Mazerall’s day went downhill from there — harassed from many quarters — as he recounted to MLT’s Nicholas Handy. Remember, please, that under such circumstances Mr. Mazerall was a political operative, not a spontaneous, “man on the street” interviewee. He did not belong in a front-page news article in this paper.

Daniel Sullivan