Media update: One story and two different lead paragraphs


Rebel HQ blew into Sussex County last week and drew the attention of the two Gannett newspaper/websites in the region – Delaware Online(News Journal)and Delmarva Now (SalisburyDaily Times)

Rebel HQ is a YouTube channel operated by TYT (The Young Turks), a news organization with ties to the Democratic Party. The venture dates back to the early 2000s.

Young Turks have long criticized Republicans and moderate Democrats for their ties to corporate interests.

TYT came under fire after Donald Trump was elected, with one progressive post blaming the outlet for contributing to his narrow victory over Hillary Clinton.

Rebel HQ’s reporter took direct aim at poultry and agribusiness company Mountaire over wastewater issues at its processing plant and the effects on neighbors.

Both Gannett properties posted lengthypieces that reported on the five-minute video from Rebel HQ. The video carried the click bait headline – Top Trump donor poisons rural Delaware. The stories from the two outlets featured the video backed up by archive background of the News Journal’s investigativecoverage of Mountaire’s wastewater issue.

The video’s headline refers to the reported owner of Mountaire who has been a strong supporter of the President. Mountaire lists its headquarters as Millsboro.

The video is standard fare these days for outlets residing on opposite ends of the political spectrum. Attempting to get both sides of the story is not a priority.

Mountaire, in wrestling with the wastewater issues, has argued that the difficulties date back long before the time it acquired the poultry plant.

Mountaire did take the rare step of calling out the coverage. (See below).

Just as interesting were the lead paragraphs from the northern Delaware and Eastern shore newspapers.

Delmarva Now offered the following lead that reflected a more cautious view of the video.

Aprogressive left-wing news organization,The Young Turks, posted a vitriolic video on YouTube Tuesday accusingMountaire Farmsof poisoning rural Delaware.

Delaware Online put Young Turks closer to the mainstream – A progressive news organization,The Young Turks, posted a video on YouTube Tuesday accusingMountaire Farmsof poisoning rural Delaware.

Here’s Mountaire’s response:

“Most of what’s contained in this video comes under the category of fake news. It’s certainly not unbiased reporting, and frankly, we’re surprised the News Journalwould give it any credibility. The two lawsuits against Mountaire Farms concerning wastewater issues will be decided in court, not on YouTube.”

Meanwhile, Lewes-Rehoboth’s Cape Gazette did not following the lead of the chain papers and instead posted a piece on the legal battle that provides some needed perspective.

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