(In response to Response to Mr. Newspaperman commentary in Kuna Melba News on May 14, 2014)
In mid-May, Mark Barnes of the “Kuna-Melba News” attacked the work we do at Idaho Freedom Foundation, including the work at our news outlet, IdahoReporter.com. Additionally, he made false claims about us that deserve correction.
Since its founding in 2009, Idaho Freedom Foundation has received $2.2 million in donations, nearly all of which came from individuals in Idaho, not from wealthy out-of-state benefactors. In fact, we’re humbled by the reality that more than 1,200 generous Idahoans support Idaho Freedom Foundation’s resolve to promote free markets, eliminate government waste and corruption and promote government transparency and accountability. We’ve received more than 2,700 donations during the life of our organization, again mostly from throughout this beautiful state of ours.
Mr. Barnes also insinuates that because IdahoReporter.com is a product of the Idaho Freedom Foundation, somehow our journalism isn’t objective, but rather, propaganda. He apparently doesn’t read our stories much, where we quote from not only people who support our viewpoints, but also politicians and pontificators who perhaps do not. While IdahoReporter.com is a source for free market views, it is still journalism. That’s why weekly newspapers, dailies, radio stations and TV outlets have used IdahoReporter.com stories.
Journalists used to ask tough questions. They used to investigate issues rather than taking an elected official’s word for it. IdahoReporter.com chooses to ask tough questions and investigate issues. We challenge government to prove what it is doing is necessary, is cost effective, does not trample on individual rights, can’t be done by the private sector.
Mr. Barnes does correctly note that IFF is part of the State Policy Network (SPN). SPN members share a common vision of infusing our states with the values of limited government, individual rights, private property and economic freedom. It is no sin to affiliate with like-minded organizations, especially those that support the values on which our nation was founded.
Being attacked by the legacy media is not uncommon for us. Actually, we expect it because we are not part of the media club congratulating each other on what a good job we all are all doing. Meanwhile, Rome burns. Hate to use a cliché here, but … don’t kill the messenger.
We do not mind disagreements, but we are all better served if it is based on truthful reporting, something Mr. Barnes failed to do when writing about us.
Mitch Coffman, Communications Director, Idaho Freedom Foundation