VT Left Wing Media Bias Unmasks Itself

July 24, 2020

By Rob Roper

Dave Gram was a long time reporter for the Associated Press, is currently the host of what’s billed on WDEV as a “news talk” radio show (not an editorial or opinion show), and is an affiliated reporter with VT Digger. Today he was allowed to publish on that last platform a personal attack on another journalist, Guy Page, writer/publisher of Vermont Daily and news editor with VTWatercooler.com.

Let’s be clear here: Gram is a left-wing hack. He always has been. We thank him for finally ripping the mask away from his past absurdly comical claims regarding his own journalistic neutrality. The opening lines of Gram’s attack piece read:

Dante famously said that the worst parts of hell “are reserved for those who, in a time of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.”

That’s a tough notion to swallow for many journalists, or even pretend journalists, for example, conservatives who try to use the tools and tropes of journalism to slow progress on the road to justice.

So, maintaining neutrality – a key ethical precept of professional news journalism – is not just unprofessional, it’s immoral. Right. Gotcha, Dave.

For context, Gram was upset that Page asked the Governor at a press conference if the government had a First Amendment responsibility to treat different points of view on things like Black Lives Matter equally. Specifically, if the state was not going to erase Pro-BLM graffiti on public property, was it not a violation of “equal protection under the law” to erase anti-BLM graffiti. Shouldn’t government policy be to apply the same standards to both or all positions on the issue and to not endorse one political message over another?

This is a legitimate question. Equal protection under the law is a foundational principle of our Democratic Republic. It is also at the heart of what BLM activists are supposedly fighting for – that we live up to the promise that all will be treated equally by law enforcement. Some would argue that further abandonment of the equal protection principle would actually, to use Gram’s phrase, “slow the progress on the road to justice,” not speed it along. There’s plenty of evidence that such unequal application of the law is sparking backlash and fueling animosity rather than healing and understanding. (Here’s an article from WPTZ, Black community member says painting has sparked division, made his family feel unsafe.)

But, to Gram, the “real” journalist is the one who doesn’t ask this question; the “pretend” journalist is the one who does. (It’s okay to laugh out loud.)

Gram also takes shots in his weird rant at True North Reports for, one supposes among other things, covering a story about how 500 residents of Mill River, Vermont, signed a petition asking their local school board not to fly BLM or Gay Pride flags over the school.

Public schools are a government-funded monopoly with a forced, captive audience of young kids. Is it proper for a public school to explicitly endorse any political movement or message? If BLM, why not MAGA? What voice does or should the community have is such decisions? Again, these are important questions a real journalist would explore – and only a biased pretend-journalist out to protect a particular a narrative would ignore. Right, Dave?

Gram is not just biased; he’s also not very smart. (Seriously, read his full article , try to follow the logic and come to a different conclusion.) Anyone who’s heard his radio show realizes he lacks intellectual and emotional capacity to deal with reasonable arguments associated with positions in conflict with his own, so, his solution is to avoid them entirely, dismiss them quickly, or, if he can’t do that, attempt to belittle the messenger.

What Gram doesn’t like about Guy Page and True North is that these are people who are actually acting like journalists and asking the difficult questions that he – as the pretend journalist he is – doesn’t think should be asked because the answers might upset his own particular world view. Happily, with his immature outburst here, Gram did us all the service of showing us not only that he himself is not a real journalist, but he pointed clearly to who is.

— Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Full disclosure: Rob works with Guy Page on the VT Watercooler project, and the Ethan Allen Institute purchases air time on WDEV weekdays following the Dave Gram Show.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Gary Viens July 24, 2020 at 9:01 pm

Thank you Rob for being a true voice of Vermonters. During my four years in the legislature I quickly found Mr. Gram to be a left wing buffoon (Not the only one in the halls of the State House) Who’s reporting was always one sided. It is long passed due for VT. Reporters to take a hard look at the job they are doing and start treating all Vermonters equally…….

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Craig S Majoros July 24, 2020 at 9:34 pm

I have been a WDEV listener for 40 years and I love the station, it’s a real community helper when trouble arises. That said, I shut off Dave Graham’s Show a month or so after he started his left wing VT Digger chatter. I wrote to WDEV and expressed my disappointment in their choice for the time slot… Graham just doesn’t cut it .. way too far left and it’s pretty much VT Digger opinion. I can’t imagine many people listen to the show any more and why a sponsor would chose his time slot for their ads is beyond me…
Your article is right on point, Thank you

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Mark Shepard July 24, 2020 at 10:46 pm

My take from my time being interviewed and reading left wing Vermont people like Dave Graham, is that they really have no clue that they are biased, much less biased to the extreme left in many, if not most, instances. They likely spend all of their time around the same relatively small group of people, They simply do not know that there is a huge world outside their little echo chamber, and so common thinking just seem bizarre to them.

For the most part they put in print exactly what I would say to them and did a fair job of making my points, but their headlines or comments in editorials made is clear that most viewed my points as extreme. The end result, as I would here on the campaign trail and was confirmed by my being elected, was that the general reader agreed with my points. Meanwhile the left-wing media were shocked that I could get elected, but they never connect the dots to that they were out of touch and very much on the fringe, even in Vermont.

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J paul giuliani July 25, 2020 at 12:20 am

Listening to Dave Gram in his echo chamber reminds me of the saying, “This fish don’t know he’s wet.”

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Alan Sexton July 24, 2020 at 11:04 pm

I have tremendous respect for Guy, but I have no sympathy for him over this situation.

A short while ago I challenged falsehoods published in the (now former) comment sections on VT Digger, and they refused to publish my polite, but firm comments.

I forwarded all the email exchanges between VT Digger and me to Guy, and he did nothing with the evidence of their flagrant bias.

Since he is now their main course, hopefully he has learned that feeding the alligator only assures that it will eat you last.

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Carol Blake July 25, 2020 at 12:25 am

You are spot on in your assessment of Gram. He’s ruined a formerly informative radio talk show with his snarky, petty, holier than thou comments. About a year ago I tried to engage him in a thoughtful email dialogue, suggesting he take a break from politics and cover topics of more general interest like post secondary trade training through registered apprenticeship. He nearly “lost it”, deciding that any criticism made me a “Trump fan” therefore not fit to share his world. His comments were so snarky and off base I was concerned for his mental stability and asked him to stop emailing me. I also complained to station management, and despite a nice reply, they’ve kept him on and lost me forever. I really miss “Open Mike” with Mike Smith.

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Vincent C. Hunter July 25, 2020 at 12:25 am

And “the press” wonders why they’ve lost us. The original pantheon of credible sources has collapsed. Academia/Scientists, Clergy, the fourth estate — all have clay feet. Redeem yourselves “sources”. WE your constituents await your return. And thank you Mr. Page. Lead the way.

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Ernest McDonald July 25, 2020 at 1:24 am

Needless to say the morning talk on WDEV suffered when Mark Johnson left the air. Although Mark is definitely (far) left of center, he was one of the best talk show hosts going. Dave Graham doesn’t measure up.

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Robert July 25, 2020 at 2:12 am

Great article Rob. Vermont is fortunate to have EAI to report on the relentless falsehoods promulgated by the wacky, unhinged leftists in our beautiful state. One must wonder if even nutty leftists like dummycrat Dave believe their own silly nonsense given how laughable it is.

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Ivan st george July 25, 2020 at 11:46 am

I have had a few email encounters with this guy and one in particular illustrates your points and Rob OPED perfectly;
He figuratively tried to body slam me for pointing out that Pres Trump was engaged earlier than most when announced a travel ban from China and how Nancy Pelosi was iN China town San Fran poo Pooing Covid weeks later
He claimed that I and Mr Trump had some kind of bias toward people with” slanted eyes,” to which I replied he was childish at best.
He later claimed email communications would be cutoff because of his busy on air commitments, Seriously ?

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Mike July 25, 2020 at 12:54 pm

Thanks, Rob. Cutting to the chase, this is a classic example of “fake news” we’ve been hearing about. Far to often these hacks hide behind their reporting the “news” to load it with biased opinions. Gotcha David!!!!

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