It’s ironic that when Senator Heidi Heitkamp’s talk radio host brother really wants to reach an audience he turns to my employers at the Forum Communications Company.
Joel Heitkamp had a letter to the editor in the Fargo Forum over the weekend in which he accuses Fargo-based television station Valley News Live of political bias against his sister. Apparently not confident that the propaganda operation he runs for his sister on his radio station is reaching enough people he felt he had to make these accusations in the newspapers as well.
And maybe that makes sense given this trend in KFGO’s ratings in the 12+ demographic (Heitkamp manages the station):
Anyway the grievous sin committed by Valley News Live, according to Joel Heitkamp, is fact checking left-wing advertising attacking Congressman Kevin Cramer, Heidi Heitkamp’s opponent this election cycle. The advertising cites Valley News Live as a the source for a claim suggesting that Cramer wants to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits. It also cites comments Cramer made on my radio show.
The problem for the Heitkamp political machine is that this claim isn’t accurate.
Here’s the ad in question.
As I’ve noted before, this ad was pretty clearly coordinated with talking points disseminated by the Heitkamp campaign, and those talking point cite Valley News Live as well as my talk radio show on WDAY as sources for the claim about Cramer and Social Securtity/Medicare.
But it’s not true. The folks at Valley News Live say it’s not true. I also say it’s not true, based on the audio of what Cramer said on my radio show back on December 20 (you can head that audio and see the referenced Valley News Live clip in this post).
Yet the Heitkamp political machine is nothing if not vigorous in defending their narrative. Those questioning it get attacked by one of Senator Heitkamp’s surrogates.
Joel Heitkamp has attacked me personally because I’m divorced, and now he’s going after Valley News Live.
I should point out that I have little interest in defending the folks at VNL. Once upon a time I was a regular on their airwaves, but that ended after I was (mildly) critical of one of their news stories. Also, VNL is a direct competitor for the company I work for.
But wrong is wrong. The Heitkamps are basing false political attacks by referencing media appearances by Cramer the facts of which do not support the Heitkamp narrative.
When they’re called out on it, the Heitkamps do what they normally do, which is go on the attack.