Kansas public radio’s online news source misleads readers in recent coverage of a townhall hosted by Congresswoman Sharice Davids over the weekend. KCUR‘s Sam Zeff tells voters Davids’ town hall was the first in Kansas Third District in five years, even though KCUR covered the August 2017 a town hall hosted by the district’s former Congressman Kevin Yoder, an Overland Park Republican.
Zeff writes, “It’s been five years since the representative from the 3rd Congressional District of Kansas held a town hall meeting. So it wasn’t much of a surprise when hundreds of people packed an Olathe church on Sunday afternoon to hear from newly elected Rep. Sharice Davids,” he begins. “Davids had promised regular town halls during her campaign against former Rep. Kevin Yoder.”
Dave Myers, chair of the Johnson County Republican Party, says that’s blatantly false.
“This is just another example of fake, untrustworthy news from the media,” Myers said. “Congressman Yoder had a town hall with the (Kansas City) Star on August 22nd of 2017, which is not even a year-and-a-half ago. If you can’t believe the first sentence in the article, how are you going to believe the rest of it?”
Like Davids’ town hall, Yoder’s 2017 town hall was also in Olathe, and KCUR covered the event. The news organization sent a different reporter, but the two town halls mirrored one another. Both featured news media staffers as moderators. The Star questioned Yoder, while a Shawnee Mission Post writer questioned Davids. Both featured limited seating and required pre-registering. There was one notable difference between the two, however. A lottery determined which registered attendees would be seated at Yoder’s town hall. Davids provided seating to those who registered first.