Newspaper publisher criticizes local coverage of black community

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The publisher of the The Metro Courier newspaper has grown tired of what she says is unfair coverage of Au­gusta’s black community, and on Sun­­day, she and others spoke out.

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Metro Courier editor and publisher Barbara Gordon reads a statement at a news conference in which she and others criticized recent reporting about Helen Blocker-Adams.  TRAVIS HIGHFIELD/STAFF
TRAVIS HIGHFIELD/STAFF
Metro Courier editor and publisher Barbara Gordon reads a statement at a news conference in which she and others criticized recent reporting about Helen Blocker-Adams.

About two dozen people took to the steps of the newspaper’s Walton Way office to criticize local media for the “crucifixion” of mayoral candidate Helen Blocker-Adams and for how they feel the black community has been unjustly portrayed.

Blocker-Adams suspended her campaign Thursday after reports surfaced of years of financial difficulties and debts, including three court judgments exceeding $70,000 from Aiken County that dated to the 1990s. She has not formally withdrawn from the race.

“Was Helen Blocker-Adams wrong? Oh yes, she was very wrong and should be held accountable,” said Barbara Gordon, The Metro Courier’s editor and publisher. However, “as far as news coverage of this situation goes, this was overkill in a major way,” she said.

Longtime Augusta resident Rod Pearson equated the coverage of Blocker-Adams’ financial problems to the death of Jesus Christ.

“You crucified her just like Christ was crucified,” he said.

After the news conference, Pearson said he still plans to vote for Blocker-Adams and hopes others in the city will join him.

“We don’t need to turn our backs on a young lady who continues to offer a smile, who continues to support this community, who continues to support these children out there,” he said. “I haven’t seen anyone give that type of support like Helen Blocker-Adams.”

The Rev. Willie Jackson said what happened to Blocker-Adams could happen to anyone.

“It was the most dehumanizing situation I have seen in Augusta,” he said. “What difference does it make because she didn’t pay her bills? I guarantee that several people in our town have unpaid bills.”

Gordon said she has witnessed inequity in media since she arrived in Augusta in 1981. In her speech, she asked media members why they didn’t provide equal coverage when fired City Ad­min­istrator Fred Russell “doled out thousands of dollars in unapproved raises.”

She also asked why the media hadn’t covered the procurement of the property to build a parking deck on Reynolds Street with the same watchful eye as they have with issues affecting the black community.

“This is a far bigger issue,” she said. “This is about how local media covers black leaders and the black community as a whole.”

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deestafford
27665
Points
deestafford 05/18/14 - 07:33 pm
28
6
I have planned to support HBA at the ballot box; however,...

I have planned to support HBA at the ballot box; however, this financial situation has caused me to seriously consider changing my mind.

As far as this tirade held on the steps of the Metro Courier, this type of attitude explains why we end up with someone like Obama in the White House---lack of perspective, judgement, and ability to analyze.

itsanotherday1
43231
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itsanotherday1 05/18/14 - 07:37 pm
28
2
Are you pulling my leg Ms. Gordon?

How can you complain about how black folks are covered with respect to HBA when ALL of the candidates are black??

Now, if the other candidates were non-minority, or if you had claimed it was gender bias, you would at least have a logical base from which to argue. As it is, you are just spouting nonsense.

edcushman
7930
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edcushman 05/18/14 - 07:41 pm
30
5
“This is a far bigger issue,”
Unpublished

“This is a far bigger issue,” she said. “This is about how local media covers black leaders and the black community as a whole.”
If the media prints the facts about blacks they are seen as racist by many black folks. The racist card is worn out.

Pops
8490
Points
Pops 05/18/14 - 07:42 pm
26
4
Gordon and her rag of a "newspaper" is a joke......

“This is a far bigger issue,” she said. “This is about how local media covers black leaders and the black community as a whole.”

This is code for "We do not care what kind of crime or other bad things blacks do......the media must not report it.....that is racist"......

It's a madhouse......

jmo
16010
Points
jmo 05/18/14 - 08:01 pm
17
3
Go crazy.....

go crazy. This whole thing is a joke. A bad joke. Good luck, Augusta.

AutumnLeaves
7746
Points
AutumnLeaves 05/18/14 - 08:09 pm
14
3
Okay, I've had it. I'm not

Okay, I've had it. I'm not voting for ANY of the candidates for Mayor unless I hear something very different than what I've been hearing.

corgimom
32459
Points
corgimom 05/18/14 - 08:38 pm
10
7
Barbara Gordon has given this

Barbara Gordon has given this same speech, in different variations, for years.

And she is ignored.

Just My Opinion
5632
Points
Just My Opinion 05/18/14 - 08:44 pm
22
3
It's not a witch hunt. This

It's not a witch hunt. This is about someone who was seeking the office of Mayor...someone who wants to lead this city. Her ability to make good, rational, wise decisions is paramount. Can these people truly say that they trust her ability to make these good wise decisions? If they say they do trust her, then that tells us all we need to know about them, doesn't it?
And to even insinuate that any of these recent articles about her and her problems are race-driven are truly laughable. People like these protestors are wearing out the race card.
I think we need to look into the backgrounds of Barbara Gordon and Rev. Jackson. I bet we'd find something.

Little Lamb
46022
Points
Little Lamb 05/18/14 - 08:49 pm
11
1
The Local Media?

The Metro Courier is the local media!

southern2
6133
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southern2 05/18/14 - 09:09 pm
22
3
I had planned to vote for

I had planned to vote for HBA.

I'm also amazed at the ATTITUDE being spewed forth. I mean, what else can this community do to appease the insatiable demands of those who have no moral compass and want to base their argument on
"what's wrong is right".

HBA deserves any wrath she receives. She is the one who has lied, cheated, and stole and should go away in shame.

To make the nauseating comparison of HBA to the crucifixion of Jesus is sinful and insults all true believers.

What kind of real Reverend would state “What difference does it make because she didn’t pay her bills?" Surely, this is not a biblical teaching.

What a pitiful situation and no wonder conditions remain tense in the CSRA.

Pops
8490
Points
Pops 05/18/14 - 09:56 pm
19
3
Pearls of wisdom from the so-called Rev. Willie Jackson

“It was the most dehumanizing situation I have seen in Augusta,” he said.

Really..........how about some of the brutal murders in HIS community......talk about dehumanizing.....

prov227
3157
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prov227 05/18/14 - 10:08 pm
19
1
I'm surprised ...

that a minister of the Word would make this statement: “It was the most dehumanizing situation I have seen in Augusta,” he said. “What difference does it make because she didn’t pay her bills? I guarantee that several people in our town have unpaid bills.” (They aren't running for mayor, I hope, of a major city.) It is not a Biblical teaching to enter into debt and run from your creditors. Who can give any credence to a "Christian" who has no respect for their obligation to pay for services or to redeem a debt, if financially able. Why would anyone want to admire someone who doesn't follow Biblical teachings? Poor stewardship destroys Christian witness. We aren't talking about poor vs. rich; we're talking about integrity. It seems to sadly lacking in this instance.

jdsgirl63
2414
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jdsgirl63 05/18/14 - 10:10 pm
16
2
I'm not certain which

I'm not certain which statement in this article is more ridiculous... let's see...

Gordon stating that the coverage of HBA's debts was "overkill in a major way" or...

Rod Pearson stating "she was crucified like Christ was crucified" (wow) or... Oh, I'll just stop here, that's enough.

One question: The Metro Courier is a local paper? I never heard of it before today, wonder how I missed it.

thauch12
6610
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thauch12 05/18/14 - 10:13 pm
12
3
Racebaiting

This article should have been titled "Racebaiting 101." Not surprisingly (along the lines of clowns like Sharpton and Jackson) there are "preachers" abusing the pulpit to propagate this nonsense.

As for Blocker-Adams, she could have been a Martian for all I care about her race. I'm just glad that the press did their job and brought to light the fact that the lady had significant unpaid debt that she had not been forthcoming about in the past. It calls into question her past judgment and moreover brings up the possibility that her worsening money problems will lead to desperate measures. Adding insult to injury, she won't outright quit the race and stop the campaign contributions which makes me extremely skeptical of her character. None of has anything to do with the color of her skin.

716
Points
Barry Paschal 05/18/14 - 10:15 pm
28
1
My perspective

Many years ago, I responded to an ad in The Courier for a freelance writer. Barbara Gordon flatly told me after a brief interview that she "hadn't had much luck with white writers." I've often wondered how that would have played out with racial roles reversed.

thauch12
6610
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thauch12 05/18/14 - 10:25 pm
16
2
The one way street of racism in 2014

Silly Barry, you forget that black people can't be racist!

But seriously, that's absolutely unacceptable in a "post-racial" society. Thankfully, you ended up working for a paper I have actually heard of (and apparently read haha).

willie7
955
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willie7 05/18/14 - 10:25 pm
1
0
I don't get this--HBA ran
Unpublished

I don't get this--HBA ran from her creditors, period
Sure, a lot of people make bad financial choices and get into more debt
than they can pay.
In order to get out, you must have a plan and not run. HBA was in denial, enough said!!!!

willie7
955
Points
willie7 05/18/14 - 10:32 pm
1
0
The Rev. Willie Jackson said
Unpublished

The Rev. Willie Jackson said what happened to Blocker-Adams could happen to anyone.

“It was the most dehumanizing situation I have seen in Augusta,” he said. “What difference does it make because she didn’t pay her bills? I guarantee that several people in our town have unpaid bills.”

My, my, my, Rev. Jackson, It make a lot of difference if you run from
your creditors or don't pay your bills and want to be a public leader.

rebellious
20780
Points
rebellious 05/18/14 - 10:51 pm
15
2
Ladies and Gentleman,

Welcome to a new era in Augusta's socio-political-economic climate.

In times past, there was usually a white candidate running against at least one black candidate. It was feasible, even considered reasonable in the black community, to castigate the blue eyed white devil and his financiers and handlers. Ah, but that was then, this is now.

Now, the black community sits in an undeniable majority, both in numbers and shortly political clout. When one missteps, it will be reported in the media. Just as was J B Dykes, Sheriff Anderson, Robin Williams and Linda Schrenko. Not many objections from "media nigrum". Facts is facts.

So the conundrum, or is it a dilemma as I often get the two confused, is who do you blame when "one of the family" is caught or does wrong. Almost reminds me of La Cosa Nostra.

Was it Pogo who said "There is no need to sally forth, for it remains true that those things which make us human are, curiously enough, always close at hand. Resolve then, that on this very ground, with small flags waving and tinny blast on tiny trumpets, we shall meet the enemy, and not only may he be ours, he may be us."

Look for some very interesting twists and turns in Augusta politics and the media which reports on it over the next ten years. And don't get me wrong, it is not a black vs white thing, rather it is what inevitably happens when people vote for a person or hire or patronize a business because of the color of their skin rather than the content of their character. Wait, I heard that somewhere before.

So, it will be a very interesting show to watch for the next years.

As a minority resident in the majority black geopolitical unit known as Augusta Georgia, recognize this:
* I will vote for the best, most intelligent candidate who reflects my social and political leanings.
* I will no longer patronize establishments where I am treated with disdain or ignored as i dig in my pocket to hand over the residual dollars of my paycheck. This includes talking to the person on your headset, ignoring me for the person standing behind me who is the same skin color as you, or otherwise not respecting the fact I chose your employers business to shop, therefore providing them with profit dollars to pay your salary.
* I will no longer eat at establishments which allow profane, loud and disruptive behavior from other patrons because they are the same skin color of the staff.
* I immediately suspend my personal practice of shopping South of the Gordon Highway in support of South Augusta investors. I will now recognize that service with a smile, a quality product delivered in a reasonable time, and customer service will win the fight for my dollars.

I once ask my dog, who loves to chase cars in front of our house,, what he would do if he caught one. He didn't answer, but the slight tilt of his head indicated he needed time to ponder the question. I suspect his answer would be to quote another famous dog named Scooby Doo.

Ruht Row

rebellious
20780
Points
rebellious 05/18/14 - 10:57 pm
9
2
Night posting

Is like peeing your pants in a dark suit. You get a warm feeling, but no one notices!

Stunned 2
4281
Points
Stunned 2 05/18/14 - 11:09 pm
9
2
Wuz that woman liquored up - up there on the porch?

spewing threats...sputtering nonsense....

mll
662
Points
mll 05/18/14 - 11:29 pm
10
1
I don't know who you are Rebellious,

but I really liked your posts! Right on target, fair minded & brilliantly amusing. We could no doubt be friends! Hope to read more of your posts on various subjects!

LeConteSkier
516
Points
LeConteSkier 05/19/14 - 01:09 am
1
17
Can you now run a story about

Can you now run a story about DR. AZZIZ! Let's see how he manages his finances. If y'all can't do that then Blocker needs to sue the AC and anyone responsible for targeting her out of the crowd.

Truth Matters
6834
Points
Truth Matters 05/19/14 - 01:59 am
1
14
Well, I'll be darned. I can't

Well, I'll be darned. I can't imagine how the Black community manages to roll. In 2005 they were criticized for NOT supporting HBA. Now they are criticized FOR supporting her.

And for the ones yelling "race baiter", find a new word. It has become as trite as calling someone a "racist."

Truth Matters
6834
Points
Truth Matters 05/19/14 - 02:03 am
8
2
"Can you now run a story

"Can you now run a story about DR. AZZIZ! Let's see how he manages his finances."

We already know that he used state resources for his daughter's wedding. But he had the money to reimburse the state when he was caught.

rebellious
20780
Points
rebellious 05/19/14 - 03:00 am
6
2
mll

I am a gnat on Augusta's arse. My opinions regarded as in depth as a fart in the wind. Full of opinion, yet often dismissed with a wave of a hand. Awake when most are asleep and asleep when most are awake. Well intentioned, yet underfunded. Long on idea, yet short on implementation. Too young to quit, but too old to work hard. Them that don't know me don't like me, and them that do sometimes don't know how to take me. I ain't wrong, I'm just different. I'm a living contradiction, sometimes fact sometimes fiction.

But I know what I know! And I rode the wave of desegration like a cowboy on a mustang. Blood, sweat and tears to see where we are today in this City, my hometown.

So thanks for the compliment. Thanks for acknowledging the comment. I really thought I had become invisible.

You made my day...night....whatever!

Just My Opinion
5632
Points
Just My Opinion 05/19/14 - 04:50 am
9
2
I have another question about

I have another question about this so-called press conference....why bring the children up front? What good does that do? Did this woman just want to make sure to plant the seed of hate and prejudice in the subconscious of these children? And why would the parents...parent?...of these children allow them to be used in this way?
Just wondering and shaking my head.
I would love for either Rev. Jackson (why do I feel silly referring to him with that title??) or Ms. Gordon to come on here and post a comment, answering some of the questions left here.
Bet they won't do it.
And to Barry Paschal....you know, I'm really not that surprised, but I'm sorry it happened to you.

GnipGnop
12235
Points
GnipGnop 05/19/14 - 09:56 am
11
2
Oh please...

This is so worn out....judged by the content of your character? That means if you go around town bilking people out of rent money you are a crook...one time I can understand but this is a multitude of times. She may be a nice lady but I wouldn't let her have free reign of my checkbook and I certainly wouldn't want her making financial decisions for the city.

seenitB4
87263
Points
seenitB4 05/19/14 - 07:32 am
8
4
I notice your comments rebel :)

As usual...right on the money!

Keep posting--you bring light to the darkness & you make my heart skip a beat!
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This statement takes the cake-- per Rev Jackson--"What difference does it make if she didn't pay her bills/" ARE you freaking kidding me, that my friends is what is happening in politics in general.

The Mick
827
Points
The Mick 05/19/14 - 07:49 am
6
1
Racist? Because all of the

Racist? Because all of the other candidates are caucasian, the media attacked the african american lady...no wait that does not work! Crucified her like Christ is REACHING way out there. Christ died to pay for your sins, HBA could not pay her bills.

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