Guest: A look at local bias and fake news


Guest: A look at local bias and fake news

Lance Thate, Chairman

Saint Augustine Tea Party

Special to Historic City News


Since the Charlottesville, Virginia riots in August 2017, two Veteran Memorials located in the historic district of St. Augustine have been under attack by elements of the radical left. In the face of overwhelming public support to retain the monuments, the city commission voted 5-to-0 to save the monument on city-owned property in the Plaza.

For the Communist left, this was not acceptable. True to form, the St. Augustine Record, a local print newspaper, is promoting the Progressive’s ongoing activities. Recently, The Record provided front page coverage of the “Take Them Down” marchers; making them the focal point of the “Nights of Lights” celebration.

I was there and can report that the majority attending, perhaps as many as 8,000 people counting the overflow crowd in the streets, were totally unaware of the activities of 163 predominantly white activists bused in from Gainesville and Jacksonville. None of these facts were reported.

It doesn’t matter whether the “Fake News” occurs in the New York Times, the Washington Post, or the St. Augustine Record. The methods to deceive and to promote the Progressive’s incremental Communist agenda are always the same. The Record continues the drum beat of the Progressive agenda by reintroducing the conversation in a fake sympathy story at the start of the Christmas celebration.

The St. Augustine Record published an article by Sheldon Gardner on Christmas Eve titled, “St. Augustine’s Confederate monument holds very different meanings for two local women”.  In this human-interest article, the story of two women with differing perspectives of the memorial is presented in what would have been a fair and balanced manner; had Gardner, or her Editors, not shamefully excluded relevant facts.

Jill Pacetti was described as a local woman who engaged in the monument controversy because her family name is inscribed on the monument and because of her belief that, in a diverse historical city, the preservation of history is essential.

Pacetti has confirmed that she believes the article is a fair representation — as it pertains to her. The Record reported the fact that Pacetti conducted a petition to gage the public’s view regarding the monuments. They reported, “She opened a petition to keep the monument, which received thousands of signatures, and she presented it to the city.”

The Record has a long history of expanding the numbers for the Progressive left while understating the numbers for those that they do not support.  The language “thousands of signatures” is an effort to understate the true number.  As of December 24, 2017, the actual number of people signing the petition was 11,649.  Pacetti’s petition continues to attract signatures.

The Record’s interview with Jamie Perkins goes like this; When Perkins was 18-years-old and working as a bank teller, she encountered a customer who she said abused her by making a remark to the effect “They’ll let you people work anywhere now, won’t they”.  She took the comment as a reference to the fact that she is black.

Perkins also said the bank customer was wearing a Confederate lapel pin. Consequently, Perkins says she has been uncomfortable going to the Plaza ever since because of the Confederate monument. The Record’s interview with her portrays Perkins as a traumatized woman now nearing her mid-30s.  She believes herself to be a victim of racism in St. Augustine and sees America as racist as well.

This human-interest story of two impassioned women on opposite sides of the issue is designed to reopen the case for monument removal. In the spirit of Christmas and Christian charity, The Record hopes to motivate the people to the Communist cause.

I say Communist cause, because this human-interest farce wouldn’t motivate a single soul in the great-majority if the true identity of Jamie Perkins had been reported.

The St. Augustine Record has a history of quoting extreme radical leftists without identifying them. Jamie Perkins is a radical left wing political activist.  She has been associated with the Women’s March, Community Organizer Ron Rawls’ Black Lives Matter group, and as an organizer for the political campaign of Bernie Sanders, who is a self-professed Communist.

We find it interesting that The Record is so captivated by the Confederate lapel pin story that they have seen fit to publish the quote on at least two occasions. The most recent was on Christmas Eve. The media loses sincerity when a quote slips into a “talking points” quote. This is especially true if you’re trying to win public sympathy.

On August 29, 2017, The Record quoted Perkins public comments from the previous night’s city commission meeting, almost verbatim.  Her statements about slavery, racism and the Ku Klux Klan marching around St. Augustine lose credibility when compared to Communist “talking points” used around the country. The last time the KKK marched in St. Augustine, Jamie was in the process of being born.

Lunelle McCallister, the Executive Director of Save Southern Heritage, cautioned members of the St. Augustine Tea Party that the Confederate memorial issue is not over yet.  Based on The Record’s attempt to reignite the conversation, it is clear McCallister was right in her assessment shared at the December 12th meeting.