Gerald Baron, Executive Director for Save Family Farming, argues that it’s important for publishers to understand that Bacon and other activists are not credible. This is why he believes it is important for farmers to tell their own story, before someone else does. In addition, he says, farmers need to be aware of the dangers of these activists.
In an interview with the Washington Ag Network, Baron calls out an activist named David Bacon. In recent publications, Bacon has claimed to be a journalist, but Baron quickly sets straight what the truth is.
“David Bacon is an activist,” Baron says. “He has participated in numerous protests and strikes. The problem is David Bacon claims to be a journalist and there are legitimate outlets that don’t understand that he is not really a journalist, that he is really an activist posing as a journalist.” The difference between an activist and a journalist is that activists, following Saul Alinsky, often believe that the end justifies the means and therefore they have no obligation to honesty or the truth. But journalists at least present themselves as objective and factual.
Baron argues that people who are putting out lies and misinformation need to be called out. And, for someone posing as a journalist, he says, they have no right to publicize information as a journalist, especially when they are publicizing information based on lies.
“We believe that if these lies and this misinformation are not challenged, they become the truth in the minds of the public”, says Baron.
Recently, Baron wrote a critique to Bacon’s piece published in a California journal. He believes it was important to challenge Bacon’s piece in order to set the truth straight. “Mr. Bacon was reporting that farmers were not doing what they needed to be doing for protecting farm workers,” Baron explains, giving background on the article, “This is simply not the case.”
Baron also felt that the photos in Bacon’s article were inappropriately used. Not only did Bacon choose to use photos that were taken outside of Washington state, he used photos that represent the lowest percentage of actual farmworker housing, says Baron.
“If no one is countering them,” says Baron, “Then that is going to drive the politics.” Farmers need to stand up and tell their story because these activist voices are unfortunately the ones government leaders will listen to when making decisions for agriculture. Baron emphasizes that farmers should be the ones voicing their rights, not activists.
Learn more and hear the full interview here: