Josh Cutler’s Conflict of Interest

Investigative Report:  Karen Barry’s Democratic opponent, Josh Cutler, Manipulating Local News

Something stinks on the South Shore, and it’s not the seaweed washing up from Hurricane Sandy.

Liberal Democrat, Josh Cutler, has been running for the 6th Plymouth House seat for the last 4 years.  He also has a long and visible history operating the family newspaper business.  Editor.  Publisher.  You name it.  The guy’s done it all.  One can argue that Mr. Cutler should add scrapbooking to his resume as nary a month goes by without his face placed prominently amongst the pages of the Duxbury Clipper or Whitman-Hanson Express.  Gushing endorsements have lined these broadsheets for the last several weeks with little to no mention of his Republican opponent, Karen Barry of Duxbury (or Deb Betz for that matter).

Several months ago, Mr. Cutler assured the voters of Duxbury, Hanson and Pembroke that he would step down from his day job so as not to the skew the lines between candidate for public office and newspaper publisher of the very district he seeks to represent in the General Court.  Yet a recent report found at FreeDuxbury.com, places Mr. Cutler’s role at these newspaper companies under the microscope, and acutely elaborates on a dirty little secret local political junkies have alluded to for quite some time:  Deadlines be damned, an unbiased media is for the birds.  If the press release, or letter to the editor, doesn’t benefit Josh Cutler’s candidacy, it’s not getting printed.  Period.

An in-depth investigation conducted by Forbes, BusinessWeek and Economist contributor, Christine Hill of Duxbury, sheds some much-needed light on just how much influence Mr. Cutler commands over the local news.  What Ms. Hill uncovered is a paper trail littered with campaign contributions from Duxbury Clipper employees, the Clipper’s transformation from newspaper to Candidate Cutler’s district wide push piece, and a point-by-point analysis of Mr. Cutler’s deliberate manipulation of a once fair and balanced news publication (just to name a few).  

There’s a clear conflict of interest here and we need to make news of it.  I encourage all of you to visit FreeDuxbury.com even if you reside outside this legislative district.  The good news is that we still have about a week to go to help fiscally conservative candidates like Karen Barry fight this uphill media battle (www.electkarenbarry.com).  The bad news is that The Boston Globe isn’t the only newspaper carrying water for the Democrats.  

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