Growing up in Lancaster County in the 1980s was a very special experience. Being a thirteen-year-old kid in 1984, riding your bike was the necessary method of travel and I wore out those knobby tires exploring all of the backroads surrounding me. Like most kids of my era, at some point you come to the realization of the need to put a little coin in your pocket, some bills in your Velcro wallet. I mean, those mushroom handlebar grips didn’t just pay for themselves.
So, what in the world could a 13-year-old kid with no experience and a bike do to earn some cash?
Fortunately, word on the street had it that a buddy of mine from school was taking an early retirement from his paper route, and as fate would have it, “paperboy” was officially listed at the top (and bottom) of my young resume.
Now for those of you who don’t remember, we once had two daily newspapers in Lancaster County. The Intelligencer Journal, whose editorial page leaned ever-so-slightly to the left was the morning paper, while the New Era, whose editorial page leaned ever-so-slightly to the right, was the evening paper. Both papers seemed to offer fair and honest reporting.
Fast forward 35 years.
There I sat, a middle-aged family man with a small computer repair business on the west side of town. Lancaster County has seen a lot of changes over the years, but for me, the most glaring transformation was the message that our local news media was amplifying. Our local papers had been devoured by LNP Media Group who transformed our once fair print news media into a far-left political indoctrination machine. Even our trusty local television affiliate, WGAL, has subscribed to the dissemination of left-wing propaganda.
After attending a Trump rally in Hershey in 2019, I wrote a piece about my experience waiting in line. It was entitled The Silent Revolution. It was posted on Facebook and because of the insistence of a friend, I reluctantly emailed it to the editorial staff at LNP.
To my surprise, the editor emailed me back within minutes and asked if she could publish it on the front of the editorial page. She was very complimentary of my writing style and gave me my first assignment for the next week. Being a conservative constitutionalist, I was surprised when they began running my stories on almost a weekly basis. Maybe they were just looking for a token Trump supporter, I don’t know. After a few months went by, it became evident that certain words and phrases were not permitted (“illegal immigrant” for example). We weren’t allowed to mention the fact that people jumped out of the World Trade Center. When I pressed her about who was deciding what words or phrases were forbidden, she eluded that the Associated Press (AP) had guidelines that had to be followed. So, a national news agency in New York City is dictating the language of the opinion pages in small town newspapers?
After submitting a piece about the political indoctrination within the American education system, I learned that even entire topics were off limits.
The final piece that I ever submitted to her was entitled “Privilege” and basically spoke to the fact that everyone born in this country is automatically granted a privilege that exists nowhere else on earth. It was a message of gratitude and optimism. She seemed really interested, but had one requirement, that I change the entire premise to fit a left-wing narrative of victimization.
I never submitted another article to LNP again.
When I got word that The Lancaster Patriot was offering an independent voice of unfiltered and honest reporting, I just wanted to be a part of it. This is still one of the most conservative counties in the entire region. Why don’t our media sources reflect the ideology of our populace?
The Lancaster Patriot allows for that.
We have a real “David and Goliath” situation here. Small independent newspapers do not have the capacity to market to the masses as these monstrous corporations with deep pockets do. We need the help of the people. Tell your neighbors, spread the word that there is an alternative in Lancaster County to the Progressive Propaganda media machine that has hijacked our community. The people of Lancaster County finally have a newspaper that they can trust. Let’s make them aware of it.
Charles Stouff lives in Pequea and is a lifelong resident of Lancaster County. He is the owner of A+PC LLC, a computer services company and also serves as a township supervisor in Martic Township.