It's always important to closely watch our elected officials in all branches of government. One party control of any government subdivision leads to a variety of corrupt practices. This is true not only in Republican dominated Rensselaer County but in Democratic dominated Albany County.
Those with unchecked power become lazy and undisciplined. They cut corners, forgetting that procedures have been put in place not to hamper government but to ensure honest, ethical and open government. Power does corrupt and absolute power.....
We can no longer rely upon the mainstream media to actually investigate officials and their shenanigans. Why is this? Are today's journalists less dedicated, less talented, less ambitious? That may or may not be the case. In our opinion, there have always been talented journalists working beside hacks. That was true in 1900, 1950, 2000 and 2005. A bigger problem with today's media is the corporate masters that control the purse strings. How is The Record expected to adequately cover politics when they won't hire a full-time reporter to cover the Capitol?
Another problem is the growing incestuous relationship between government and media. Example: former political reporter for The Record, Jeff Buell, is now working for the Tutunjian Administration. For us, that calls into question the credibility of every political story penned by Mr. Buell. It could be that each and every story written by Tutunjian's future spokesperson was unbiased, credible journalism. That's not the issue. It is the very appearance of bias, born out of the incestuous Record-Tutunjian Administration relationship.
How many more Record reporters have relationships, private or professional, with elected or appointed officials in Rensselaer County? How many at the Times Union? Without full disclosure, there is little reason to look to The Record as that most vital of democratic institutions, the independent news source.
Thus, the internet has provided the public with a wide variety of information gathering sites. All must be read with a discerning eye, but the information is out there, right at everyone's fingertips. A large portion of sites, including The Troy Polloi, are written by amateur....journalists? Political junkies? Scoundrels? They are mostly opinion, laced with fact and rumor. And that's fine. Thomas Paine was rarely if ever reimbursed for his written work.
There is a site, however, that does combine the best of both worlds. We think of it as a watchdog site, following the sometimes Alice In Wonderland-like goings on in the Rensselaer County Justice System. However, the man associated with this site is a professional journalist, well-respected and well-liked throughout the Capital Region. He is above reproach as a professional and as a man. Justice Now should be on everyone's reading list. Enjoy!