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By Mike Hudson

It's still a couple of months before the end of the year, but we're ready to hand out the Niagara County 2004 award for scummiest "journalistic" practice. And it goes to WLVL radio, the Lockport Union-Sun and Journal and the Niagara Gazette.

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Over in Wilson, it seems, they've chosen to elect a piece of garbage named Jerry Dean to be their town supervisor.

Now, they can elect whoever they want to out there in dairyland, but unless they want to be regarded as a bunch of redneck hillbillies, Dean probably isn't a good choice.

During a live radio broadcast on WLVL last week, he made some remarks about state Sen. George Maziarz that might've been appropriate down in Alabama four decades ago. Which is funny, because the Lockport and Niagara Falls daily papers turned it into a two-day story. And the Lockport and Niagara Falls papers are, of course, owned by some yahoos down in Alabama.

We'll not repeat Jerry Dean's slur here. We'll not even repeat the rumors we've heard that he's a bad drunk who beats his wife. What we will do is call upon the good people of Wilson to demand the resignation of a stupid SOB who has somehow managed to live into the 21st century without having his face smashed in for going around saying hateful things.

We would also call upon the management of WLVL to fire Scott Leffler, an allegedly "progressive" radio host who pandered to the basest prejudices of his minuscule audience in a pathetic attempt to generate some interest.

The Niagara Gazette, the Lockport Union-Sun and Journal, the Tonawanda News and the Medina Register are all for sale.

Their Alabama ownership pulled a boner by throwing all the profits into the acquisition of USAir, which is now bankrupt.

Whoever buys the papers ought to make sure they don't hire idiots willing to publish unsubstantiated smear jobs.

As for Sen. Maziarz, don't worry about him. In five weeks, he's going to marry Bev Denny, a beautiful girl he's been chasing after for years now.

When you've chosen to live a public life, as the senator has, you become fair game for the media. But unless they affect your work, your family and friends do not.

The lowball trash mouthed by some rube in Wilson, and amplified by WLVL radio and the Lockport and Niagara Falls newspapers has no place in public discourse.

They all ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Niagara Falls Reporter www.niagarafallsreporter.com Oct. 12 2004