by Eric Ginsburg

News and views from inside the media bubble by Eric Ginsburg

N&R punches down at Rhino Times

News & Record editor Jeff Gauger had some strong words for the Rhino Times and its editor, John Hammer, in the July 29 issue of the paper and his “Ink Bytes” blog. Calling Hammer the “Mouthpiecein-Chief,” Gauger said Hammer misrepresented the daily’s coverage of recent push polling. Recipients of the call told the N&R that the questions favored Republican Trudy Wade and wrongfully asserted that Democratic opponent Myra Slone in the District 27 state Senate race failed to pay her property taxes.

Gauger called out Hammer for claiming that the N&R took a position on the issue and said Wade, a current Greensboro councilwoman, must be behind the so-called polling.

“It’s early for political tricks, but it appears that the News & Record is at it again,” Hammer opened in his column last week. “The front-page article… is baffling.”

Hammer went on to try and dis credit one of the paper’s sources, former reporter Eric Townsend, based on his previous reporting. Townsend received one of the calls.

“Townsend can interpret things differently from other people. Who knows what he heard or didn’t hear on the phone,” Hammer wrote.

As Gauger said, “the News & Record asserted nothing itself,” and instead others like Slone have suggested a connection, but Hammer placed the blame squarely at the paper’s feet.

“The Rhinoceros Times is at it again, connecting imaginary dots,” Gauger opened his post. “Hammer, whose schtick in the weekly tabloid is one-sided keyboard attacks, is full of beans.”

It’s hard not to smile watching someone give Hammer his just deserts, given that his platform is frequently riddled with inaccuracies and misrepresentations, as we occasionally point out, such as his so-called “reporting” about an alleged drug shipment to a local nonprofit.