Archive for Friday, August 4, 2006

Publisher blasts candidate for illegally stuffing newspapers

August 4, 2006


— A weekly newspaper in southeast Kansas says Jana Shaver, one of the moderate State Board of Education candidates who won in the Republican Party primary, illegally stuffed her political fliers in the newspaper after it left out her information in a question-and-answer segment for the candidates in the race.

The Yates Center News, in a column by owner and publisher Stewart Braden, said Shaver's actions "were unethical as well as illegal." Braden wrote that he reserved the right to press charges against her, but in an interview Thursday said he wouldn't.

Shaver, of Independence, said she was "heartsick" about the whole incident, which she said started because the newspaper omitted her answers to questions that were posed to the candidates in the District 9 education board race.

"I thought I was righting a wrong when I did it," she said.

The newspaper said it made a regrettable mistake omitting Shaver's information in last week's issue and apologized.

When Shaver found out about the omission, she asked the paper for help distributing her fliers since the edition was the last one before Tuesday's primary.

The paper told her to distribute her fliers at businesses that sell the paper. At one business she started to put her fliers in the paper. Her flier had the same content that had been omitted from the newspaper article on the race, and a political disclaimer at the bottom saying it was paid for by Shaver's campaign.

But Braden said such action is trespassing, copyright infringement and misrepresentation of the publication.

The paper called Shaver to complain. Shaver said she didn't know it was wrong to put her fliers in the paper, since the information should have been in there anyway, and apologized and even offered to drive back to Yates Center to remove the fliers.

But Braden said by that time it would have been too late because the 2,000-circulation paper is usually bought up by late Wednesday.

"What I did was an honest mistake," said Shaver, who went on to defeat Brad Patzer in the GOP primary.

When she heard about the follow-up column published Wednesday criticizing her actions, she said, "I'm almost speechless. I'm just appalled that an incident like this has been blown so out of proportion."

For his part, Braden said he wished Shaver the best of luck in the November general election when she faces Democrat Charles Kent Runyan of Pittsburg.

"I don't wish her ill. What I wanted to make perfectly clear is no one has the right to stuff what they want to in the newspaper and expect to get away with it," he said.


Nonsense 11 years, 8 months ago

So did the paper endorse any of the candidates?

lunacydetector 11 years, 8 months ago

sounds like the newspaper and shaver are both full of crap.

Ken Miller 11 years, 8 months ago

Because with freedom comes responsibility.

Richard Heckler 11 years, 8 months ago

Mountains out of molehills. It seems the LJW does this same exact thing once in a while or simply misquotes.

Life will go on...

Ken Miller 11 years, 8 months ago

Another example of how the supposed "objective" media tries to play politics. Much like some churches injecting their beliefs into the political process, Mr. Braden looks foolish and must wipe egg off his face in front of the 65 or 70 subscribers he has for that paper.

Brenda Brown 11 years, 8 months ago

I have worked in advertising in a major national daily, and the paper ultimately has the responsibility for it's content. There are laws that must be applied to every political ad, printed within or inserted. Shaver's beef is with his advertising department, not the candidate who purchased space in the paper. The paper should have run a retraction at no cost to the candidate. I realize that this would not have made a difference in the election. Papers MUST be accountable for mistakes made, not blame the person who may not be aware of the rules.

craigers 11 years, 8 months ago

The mistake was made and information was omitted, that happens. However, if they didn't put information about a restraunt in the paper and then a representative wanted to correct it by putting fliers in the paper, that would be illegal. Shaver did the same thing, so yeah it was illegal. And everything illegal is almost always unethical.

Godot 11 years, 8 months ago

"Then the publisher writes a fairly nasty editorial directed at this candidate for what she did which was a result of the newspaper's errors"

Freedom of the press sucks, doesn't it?

Ken Miller 11 years, 8 months ago

Godot, true freedom of the press will only exist in this case if the publisher prints a Shaver response letter to the editor or op ed column.

chzypoof1 11 years, 8 months ago

You people crack me up. You are only bagging on the publisher because Shaver was a moderate. If it was a conservative that was stuffing the paper, you people would be blasting her, and demanding she be removed.

This article isn't about the stupid debate over evolution. It's about her doing something that was illegal. That's it.

Ken Miller 11 years, 8 months ago

I'd be bagging on the publisher even if it involved Kim-Il Jong stuffing the paper. Even idiot ultra-conservative candidates deserve to have their side of the story told in the press.

Jayhawk226 11 years, 8 months ago

I'm kinda shocked really...

...I didn't realize people even read newspapers in Western Kansas.

I thought the King James Version was it.

Wild stuff.

Jayhawk226 11 years, 8 months ago

Pardon me, I gave too much credit.

It should read: western Kansas. No capitalized "w" for those out west.

Jamesaust 11 years, 8 months ago

"But Braden said such action is trespassing, copyright infringement and misrepresentation of the publication."

Offhand, I don't see the case for copyright or misrepresentation. Trespass has a reasonable chance but Braden can only recover damages incurred. What damages again were incurred?

Godot 11 years, 8 months ago

"Godot, true freedom of the press will only exist in this case if the publisher prints a Shaver response letter to the editor or op ed column."

Not hardly. When has it ever been required of the press to provide balanced, unbiased reporting?

shorttrees 11 years, 8 months ago

Jayhawk226--You obviously have no idea where Yates Center IS, and you won't find it in Western KS. In fact, if you draw a line straight south from Topeka and one straight East from Wichita, the lines meet at Yates Center. Your being ill-informed is no reason to bag on Western Kansas (even if there are plenty of other things to mutter about concerning that part of the state)!

Godot 11 years, 8 months ago

Wow, SWBSOW appears to have intimate knowledge of this moderate Republican's campaign. Does this mean he/she worked on the campaign?

I assumed, from past posts, that SWBSOW was a liberal Democrat.

Jayhawk226 11 years, 8 months ago

I will admit shorttrees....I have never even heard of Yates Center.

I can also admit I just learned something today...see it's turning out to be a good day already.

yme 11 years, 8 months ago

Obviously there is a major misunderstanding among the masses about the "freedom of the press." FOP rests with the publisher. He or she is under no obligation to print anything or not print anything. Had this publisher simply came out and said he did not want to run her answers, he would have been perfectly within his rights. As long as he does not libel her or make up her answers, he has not broken any laws or codes, moral or otherwise. It is up to his readers to decide if they like or dislike his work. The candidate inserting her fliers in the paper is the same as theft. There are people who have paid perfectly good money to have their ads placed in the paper. This woman inserting hers for free is stealing the integrity of the paid ads. Under your logic, I can walk into any restaurant and start selling food. So what if the restaurant is paying the overhead, the service help and everything else, they didn't include my food on the menu so I am free to sell my food. The publisher has every right to complain and she is lucky the worst thing that happened was she got criticized in an editorial.

Ken Miller 11 years, 8 months ago


What you describe is freedom of the publisher/ commentator.

Freedom of the Press ultimately rests with the media consumer, who can choose NOT to buy a paper or listen to a radio program or watch a tv program because a publisher/owner chooses to consistently give only one biased side of any or all issues. If no one buys the paper, or watches/listens to the show, then ad revenue dries up and in many cases, the so-called media outlet goes away. If said paper/station only serves up consistently one-sided neo-conservative or ultra-liberal tripe, it becomes a propagandist rag, and no longer fits under the shrinking umbrella of free media. Jeez, even O'Reilly and "The Daily Show bring on folks spouting opposing viewpoints. True, they usually stack the deck against their guests, but at least they provide an opportunity for rebuttal.

yme 11 years, 8 months ago

Oscar, as I pointed out, the reader has the final decision. That does not change that the freedom of the press belongs to "him that owns the press." If someone has an opposite view, they have every right to start their own paper. But your rants about one-sided journalism are way off mark. No one ever accused the writers of the "The Federalist Papers" to have been fair and balanced. They had their opinion and wrote it. When the papers in the early 20th century were raking muck, they weren't pretending to be balanced, they were attacking corruptions and abuses. When Edward R. Murrow interviewed Joe McCarthy, he wasn't looking for a fair argument, he was looking to ridicule McCarthy, which he did. The concept of "unbiased" press is an ideal, but has never been a reality. To SWB: if she really thought she was free to just go insert her fliers in published papers, then I really hope she loses in November, because she is obviously not the brightest bulb in the box, regardless of her views on evolution or sex ed.

craigers 11 years, 8 months ago

What the candidate did was illegal. No matter which entity would be harmed more, doesn't make it any more legal.

oldgoof 11 years, 8 months ago

Jayhawk226, as it has been pointed out, is too ignorant to understand Kansas geography. Before he criticizes western Kansas, he should look at the idiots elected around here.

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