The Argus Leader has always been a lightening rod for criticism. Its editors have been slammed for just about everything from ignoring the Hildebrand-Tewes embezzlement scandal, after they broke it by the way, to the latest blog scandal which involves ignoring the book written by super secret Thune paid former blogger Jon Lauck. His book “Daschle V. Thune – Anatomy of a High-Plains Senate Race” has been discussed at great length by many bloggers as well as several South Dakota MSM outlets including the Rapid City Journal and KEVN TV.
Of course to date, the Argus hasn’t spent on inch of coverage on the book and many are giving them the business over that fact. So why has Kranz and company ignored the book while talking about several other books? Since they are eerily silent on the matter one can only speculate. The right will tell you it is their liberal bias showing while others will mention that it could just be a bit of revenge as Lauck spent countless posts back during the 2004 campaign ripping Kranz and the Argus on his blog along with his co-blogger Jason Van Beek for what they perceived as an obvious slant towards Daschle.
A 3rd school of though might also be floated. Some may believe that the Argus is ignoring the book because of the “questionable” history of the author. Lauck has taken a lot of criticism for his myopic onslaught aimed at Daschle during his 2004 campaign versus John Thune on his blog. While campaigns by bloggers aimed at candidates aren’t new, these types of campaigns perpetrated by those paid by the opposition without disclaimers to that effect are frowned upon. Admittedly, if you dug deep enough you would have discovered Lauck’s connection to the Thune campaign, though most readers would not have known this. Throw in Laucks’ connection to the voter fraud scandal in Ziebach County back in 2002 and you start seeing a pattern forming. What ever happened to Shelley Keohane by the way?
Where did Shelley Keohane get the documents which helped her put together the Eunice Taylor stunt? After questions about Keohane’s report were first raised, this post appeared on the KSFY website saying that she got them from “a personal friend who volunteers for John Thune’s campaign.”
It turns out, according to TPM’s sources, that the ‘personal friend’ was a Sioux Falls lawyer named Jon K. Lauck, who happens to be the Chairman of Lawyers for Thune Committee. Lauck’s bio at the Republican National Lawyers Association website says he is “currently chairman of the Lawyers for Thune Committee and deeply involved the nation’s most-watched Senate race.”
And, surprisingly, there’s even more.
It turns out that Jon Lauck and Shelley Keohane live at the same address in Sioux Falls.
No matter what the real reason behind the silence coming from the building at 200 S. Minnesota, the question is does anyone outside of the blogosphere care anymore about the Argus’ editorial opinions? Bias or not, their subscribers are down, their reputation is questionable at best and I try to use them for a source as little as possible because they remove online content shortly after posting it. After a few month’s they require you to pay in order to view the articles that at one time were available for free. Note to Argus, ask the NY Times how that pay model worked.
Lauck’s book may or may not be the best South Dakota themed political book ever written but worrying about whether or not the Argus mentions it is probably only a few steps higher on the “big deal scale” than would be a lack of review of the book on this blog. (I’m waiting for it to come out in paperback by the way…)