Sunday, November 01, 2009

Website updated but Branson newspaper still has no information about Pete Newman

The definition of news must be different in Branson than it is in the rest of the country.

Considering the national reputation of Kanakuk Kamps, the news that one of the people most associaed with the Christian sports camp, in fact, the man who was pretty much the face of the venture for the last several years, was charged with felony sex crimes involving underage male campers, would seem to be destined to be a front page staple for the local newspaper.

That has not been the case.

As I have noted in earlier posts, the Branson Daily News online edition has mentioned Pete Newman's arrest only once...several days after it had been reported by other media outlets, and has not had a word about it since.

That includes coverage of Thursday's hearing, in which Newman failed to show on time, and a warrant was issued for his arrest, and later after he came in 14 minutes late, bail was set at a higher amount and he spent several hours in lockup.

The Branson Daily News website has a link for "breaking news," but that page has been empty for a long time. When the content on the page was updated sometime yesterday or today, there was no mention of Pete Newman.

I would be interested in hearing from the publisher and editor just why this news story has been virtually ignored. Of course, that would require mentioning it in the newspaper, so I won't hold my breath waiting.


(Randy Turner's new book, Newspaper Days, is available at


Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you! Perhaps you could write an Op-Ed? Is Kanakuk that powerful in MO that they have control over the media? This just makes no sense!

Anonymous said...

Joe White, president and owner of Kamp Kanakuk, has some very, very powerful friends. One can imagine that he and his friends would prefer there be no coverage of this matter in any paper. But since it is a criminal matter with public records available, it would be impossible to hush it completely. Maybe locally is the best they can do. Maybe it's a stretch to think this might be happening, but then again, maybe not.

(A quick google search of Kamp Kanakuk turns up many connections to the politically powerful and influential James Dobson's Focus on the Family.)

Anonymous said...

P.S. re: my comment at 4:56 am, I was not trying to imply that Joe was personally trying to make this matter disappear from public view, but rather that his friends might be.

Apologies for the way it might have been misunderstood.

Anonymous said...

it's a cover-up,what do you think Anonymous,Dick Chaney,the Russians,or space people,we got to get to the bottom of this,I think I hear the helicopters overhead,got to go,keep up the good work Anonymous the county needs you,we can't let people have VERY POWERFULL FRIENDS

Innocent Until Proven Guilty by Jury, Not Turner said...

Turner is one of them newspaper reporters who 'think' that they have a right to accuse, try and convict people in the media they control. Of course, there is never any punishment of Turner any more than there is any punishment of the police for making false accusations.

Why not allow the accused to be tried before an uncontaminated jury pool other than that Turner and the rest of the media want to play god and tell us what we are to think.

There is a reason why most people think that you are a liar and you ended up getting fired as an editor and reporter, Turner. You abused your position and somebody simply decided to call you on it, and so the management of the newspaper got rid of you.

I have a solution: Hard and fast laws that if newspapers print propaganda concerning a particular court case, that if the accused is found innocent, that newspapers and reporters like Turner be found guilty and imprisoned for years for denial of the accused rights to a fair trial.

If you wish to engage in speculation as to guilt and innocence and get found out to be wrong, then there should be some penalty for it. As it is, I think that the Branson newspaper is acting in a morally responsible manner in not speculating or being used as a propaganda tool for the police and prosecution. Something that Turner never learned about, even though run out from the positions he abused.

Anonymous said...

"the man who was pretty much the face of the venture for the last several years"

not sure how Randy arrived at this conclusion...Pete Newman was the director of one of 8 or 9 camps affiliated with Kanakuk...that's kind of like saying Tony LaRussa is the "face" of major league baseball. Interesting spin Randy.

Anonymous said...

Randy, these comments are from idiots who really don't know. The coverage you have provided has been accurate. Don't stop! Anyone who knows Kanakuk knows that Pete was the face of the kamp. Directors themselves have admitted that. As far as the Branson newspaper is concerned, locals don't even bother with it. Everyone here knows it is considered the Branson Entertainment Gazette targeting tourists thinking they are coming to a picture perfect town with no crime. (It's absurd to even call it a newspaper) The free Branson Independent provides the real news. In fact, the article on Pete was front page news with his pic.