House Representative Andy Gipson said he’s had enough with what he considers fake journalist. So, he called for the formation of the Mississippi Responsible Journalism Initiative (MRJI). The slogan, “The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing but the Truth.” It is a grass-roots, citizen based organization whose sole purpose is to identify false reporting and issue a truthful response for the public.
Gipson said his new initiative will hold news reporters accountable for what they write.
True and false reporting isn’t a new thing, but Rep. Gipson said it all came to a front after a piece was written about him by a local reporter he had never met named, Ray Mosby.
In the article Gipson said Mosby made major factual errors regarding a recent divorce bill killed in his House committee, as well as false assumptions that people in Mississippi cannot get a divorce on grounds of domestic violence.
Gipson said, for the past 200 years you could get a divorce in Mississippi under the “Cruel and Inhumane Treatment” statute. The real problem with the law, is that it might not be handled equally between judges across the state.
The bill brought before Judiciary B added the words, “Domestic Violence” under that “Cruel and Inhumane Treatment” statute.
“What has happened is we have lost the ability in our state due to this screaming and blatant falsehood about important issues,” said Rep. Gipson. “We can’t have an honest conversation about the real issues and what we can do to solve them.”
Gipson received a heavy amount of whip-lash since killing the bill in Jud. B. He said he never had a divorce bill in his committee until now, but was approached by a lobbyist who asked him to pass it earlier in the session.
“One lobbyist came to my office and said to me ‘We want you to pass this bill, it’s not really going to do anything, it’s more of a PR campaign,'” said Gipson. “Let me say this to the people of Mississippi, if you ever want to pass a bill through the Jud. B committee don’t ever tell me it doesn’t do anything and it’s just a PR campaign, because I’m going to kill it on the spot.”
Instead, Gipson crafted the amendment to SB2680 to ensure divorces on the grounds of domestic violence are being handled uniformly across the state.
Since the article written by Mosby was released, Rep. Gipson has written a response that was printed in the same publication.