The following letter to Debbie Davis, managing editor of the Davis
Enterprise, is in response to a front-page Enterprise article on March 30. It appeared in the Davis Enterprise on April 1, 1997.
The piece of transparent advocacy journalism entitled "Anti-Borders Tactics
Questioned" by Enterprise reporter Lauren Obermueller used hearsay, an
anonymous source and the complaints from developer Mark Friedman as the
primary basis for its information.
In the article, Mr. Friedman referred to those who dare question his development as "rabble."
According to Ms. Obermueller, Mr. Friedman also charged that letters posted on this Web site "contain threats and false accusations about him." (You be the judge; we certainly can identify no "threat or false accusation" against Mr. Friedman on this Web site. Evidently, Ms. Obermueller could find none either. Or did she bother looking for one? She provided no indication in her article that she even followed up on the developer's imputation by reading the letters and articles posted here.)
The Enterprise, which has editorialized in favor of Borders coming to Davis and was blatantly pro-developer in the tone of this article, has consistently declined to send a reporter to any of the Friends of Davis meetings (which are always open to the public). Instead, it relied upon, as a primary hook for its story, an unnamed source who was clearly biased against Friends of Davis.
Just as glaring has been the absence of any stories by the Davis Enterprise about the large-scale destruction of independent bookstores in this country by book megastores like Borders. It also has refused to examine the economic devastation of central business districts inflicted by warehouse chain stores and peripheral commercial developments in hundreds of towns throughout the country.
These are stories which a responsible newspaper should objectively provide for its community. It should shine an objective light on the impact of this new direction of importing large chain stores and peripheral shopping centers into what has been a unique town. Provide the facts; let the community decide if it wants the kind of development being imposed on it, without reasoned public input, by the University and City administrators.
Referring to the newspaper's pro-development bias, one of our customers recently lamented, "Perhaps it should change its name to "The Pave-us Enterprise."
The following is the response by The Avid Reader owner, Alzada Forbes, to the news story.