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Van Orden: Debate editorial 'unprecedented display of partisanship'

From the COLLECTION: From Opinion Page, columns, letters on La Crosse school referendum series
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Derrick Van Orden, Wisconsin

“This is a national disgrace that did not need to happen. It is yet another example of President Biden bungling President Trump’s policy strategy to appease the radical left, putting Afghan and American lives at risk in the process and emboldening the Taliban.”

Derrick Van Orden, R-Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, who running unopposed for Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional district. A former Navy SEAL, he served two six-month tours in Afghanistan in 2003 and 2009.

When queried, I recently stated that I would absolutely not take part in a debate at UW-La Crosse, and last week the La Crosse Tribune’s Editorial Board confirmed that this was a prudent decision.

In an unprecedented display of partisanship, they chose to single out a political candidate who they disagree with ideologically by writing and publishing an overtly negative OPED in their Sunday paper in an obvious attempt to influence a federal election.

There can be no clearer example of media bias than this and the people of the 3rd congressional district should be as wary of this periodical as my campaign is.

For reference, when I announced my 2022 run, we offered our first word to the La Crosse Tribune. It was summarily declined. This is in direct contrast to when Brad Pfaff announced his campaign. The La Crosse Tribune chose to print a glowing profile of him.

I fought for this country and firmly believe that a free and fair media is essential to a functioning democracy. We need reporters, not advocates. Unfortunately, the La Crosse Tribune has once again proven to the latter, not the former.

The time for career politicians and complicit media has passed. We need to try something different.

Derrick Van Orden, R-3rd Congressional District

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Tribune ran a story on April 8, 2021 announcing Van Orden’s candidacy, like it does announcing other candidates.

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