For years, television reporter Grant Stinchfield found himself in an awkward situation. He was a conservative Republican in an industry widely tagged the “liberal media.” Now he is running for congress, and not afraid to reveal his political leanings and talk openly about bias in his former profession. “I firmly believe the left is leading us down the wrong path….we need to push conservative values because that’s what America was built on,” Stinchfield said.
Stinchfield is a familiar face to some Connecticut television viewers as an Emmy award winning investigative reporter for WVIT at the beginning of this century, who made a name for himself by exposing waste, corruption and fraud. From Hartford, he moved on to the NBC station in Dallas, and last year, left the television business to open his own business, and run for Congress (TX-24.)
Even though we worked at competing stations, Grant is an old friend, whom I know from covering the same stories, attending charity events, and frequenting the Newport summer scene, so I invited him to come on Face the State when he was back in town for a visit. His wife, former Miss Connecticut Amy Vanderoef, is a Bristol native who is now a host of Good Morning Texas on the ABC station in Dallas.
During his appearance on Face the State, Grant talked about why he decided to give up television for politics. We also talked about the bias so many media organizations are accused of having, and he revealed some eye-opening stories about his reporting days in Dallas and Hartford. Grant mentioned two specific occasions when he said was ordered by his bosses to stop his investigative research into two major employers: General Motors, which employs thousands in Texas, and the Hartford, which employs thousands in Connecticut.
Here is an excerpt of what Stinchfield had to say regarding a tip he started investigating about government spending: “When Cowboys Stadium was being built….General Motors, getting bailed out by the federal government, wants to buy a suite at Cowboys stadium….a million $ plus for that suite. I make a call, and as a good conversative I say GM shouldn’t be buying a suite with taxpayer dollars. 20 minutes later I get hauled into the general manager’s office telling me, you will not make another call on that story. “ Stinchfield says the general manager didn’t want to “rock the boat” with automotive advertisers, even though it meant not reporting on what Stinchfield felt was the inappropriate spending of taxpayer dollars.
Before Texas, Stinchfield said he encountered similar censorship while working in Connecticut: “I remember when I tried to interview the CEO of the Hartford about why he was taking massive bonuses. I was called in. That never aired. It was at the height when the Hartford was laying off people. The company was laying of hundreds of people and the CEO was taking massive stock options and I got hauled in and was told you’re not going to air that story. That’s bias. People deserve to know that kind of stuff. “
Finally, Stinchfield said he couldn’t take it anymore and couldn’t “keep his mouth shut,” as he puts it, and decided to run for office.
I also asked Grant what he believes are the reasons the Texas economy is so much more robust than the Connecticut economy. Why is their state growing, and ours remaining stagnant? His answer: unions. ”Texas is a right to work state so our job market is much more competitive. Employers can make a deal with who they want to hire and you come to an agreement together instead of a union totally tying a company’s arm behind its back.”
You can watch the interview this morning at 11 on channel 3
At 11:30 am on Sunday the link of the entire interview with Grant Stinchfield that aired on January 1, 2012 on Face the State with Dennis House on WFSB can be seen right here
also read last week’s entry about Grant Stinchfield: http://dennishouse.wordpress.com/2011/12/29/ex-reporter-stinchfield-unions-a-problem-in-connecticut/