A small-but-insidious example of Puppetshow propaganda

In the middle of a perfectly predictable warning that North Carolina communities should avoid the evils of planning ahead, Stagemanager John Hood today sneaks a little pro-Puppetshow propaganda into his otherwise forgettable column.

For the most part, city and even school-board elections this year won’t be decisive (though spirited mayoral contests in Cary, Wilmington, and Durham will be worth watching). Instead, much of the political energy and resources will go into high-stakes public referenda in communities across the state.

Why, you may ask, does Mr. Hood seemingly go out of his way to include Durham among the spirited mayoral contests worth watching? Well there's one simple reason: Thomas Stith, once and future mouthpiece for the Puppetshow, is a candidate! Never mind that he has hardly a snowball's chance in hell of beating the incumbent mayor, to my knowledge. All that matters is that Stith knows the secret handshake that gives him access to backing from Art Pope's multi-million dollar opinion manufacturing machine.

For the record, Stith is promising to run a "very thorough and comprehensive campaign that would depart from the city's norm." And depart it will, with a level of creepiness that only a Puppet could appreciate, leaving Durham once again to pick up all the pieces.


One letter to the editor on Stith's "very thorough" campaign

I read with interest the articles in The Herald-Sun and the News & Observer about the recent attack on Mayor Bill Bell disguised as a telephone survey. I was one of the people surveyed. The caller began by asking to speak with the youngest voter in the house. The first questions were innocent enough, "How likely are you to vote in the mayoral election?" and "Are you more interested in experience or change in government?"

Then the questions changed to, "Did you know that Bill Bell...?" with increasingly nasty accusations about how Mayor Bell dealt with grants to the UDI community development company. The "survey" was clearly a thinly disguised effort to damage Mayor Bell. I was so angry about this Karl Rove type attempt at manipulation that I told the caller I would not continue the conversation.

I would say to Thomas Stith that the American people are fed up to the teeth with this sort of sleaziness. If it looks like a skunk and smells like a skunk ... well, you know the rest. Any chance you ever had of getting my vote vanished with this one phone call. Your "push poll," as I've just learned it is called, tells me everything I need to know about what sort of mayor you would be.

Durham Herald.

Revenge of the Stith


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