Construction Division Director Dale "Skipper" Branscum shows his support for IP Jones and other International officers in the wake of attack articles by Judy Thomas.
Some stood to voice their anger at certain members who have developed blogs to exploit, for their own agendas, the sensationalized and distorted reporting by Judy Thomas, the Kansas City Star's apparent specialist in the dark art of yellow journalism.
opened the discussion by telling the lodge leaders, "You may agree with us on some things and disagree with us on others, but we felt it was important to address the Kansas City Star's
contrived allegations with you face to face in this forum.
We're going to be absolutely straight with you, and you are free to ask questions on any topic."
One of the first items discussed was who is behind the Star's trashing of our union.
It is clear that Thomas
relied on anti-union, conservative "watchdogs" for many of the biased opinions expressed in her
IP JONES WALKED lodge leaders through the litany of suggestive headlines Thomas
used to construct a dark, sinister picture of International officers.
noted that the use of terms like lofty pay, plum jobs, dubious links, rumbles of discontent, shady deals, nepotism, and grand jury are all hallmark descriptors of yellow journalism and are intentionally used to arouse suspicion and inflame emotions - even when the facts behind the allegations do not support such unprofessional journalistic characterization.
"They are code words that imply dishonest, unethical, or illegal behavior.
used them for a specific purpose, to divide the membership from its leaders and to feed into anti-union public sentiment.
went on to address numerous other allegations in depth, demonstrating that they were inaccurate, distorted, twisted, or exaggerated by Ms. Thomas
urged construction business managers to take an interest in social media, as members are increasingly sharing their concerns on blogs and other Internet sites, and that those concerns may be misguided, thanks to the misinformation put out by the Kansas City Star