Reader Disputes Facts Of 'Ox Bow Incident'



I was torn between anger and praise when I read your Friday (Oct. 11) newspaper. Anger at the letter from Amber Schuyler and your self-serving editorials, and praise that you printed Jack Lundeen's letter.

Your newspaper has shown an anti-Ken Murphy bias ever since he started his campaign for the office of mayor. Your Sept. 27 story (the one that prompted Ms. Schuyler's letter) was a mixture of distorted facts, misstatements, and plain lies. Mr. Lundeen's letter tells the truth, as does the letter that you "refused to print" because of its length. My point is that by your biased reporting and misrepresentation of facts, citizens like Ms. Schuyler receive a totally false picture of the mayor and his attempts to help businesses in Payson.

The only totally true facts in your story of the "Ox Bow incident" were that Jack Babb and Mayor Murphy were present at the Ox Bow Saloon, and there was a difference of opinion between the two of them about how to control the number of patrons at the saloon.

Truth: there was no face-to-face shouting match between them. Babb was at the top of the stairs and the mayor was at the door, at the foot of the stairs.

Truth: the mayor had two beers that day, at the rodeo in the afternoon, and did not have any drinks at the saloon. That fact is attested to by the owners and the bartender. But your reporter either deliberately left that information out of the story or did not interview them to get the facts correct.

Truth: if the mayor was drunk and disorderly, then the law enforcement officers present at the time (over 20, I am told) failed to do their duty and arrest the mayor. But your story gave Ms. Schuyler the perception that the mayor was out of control. More bias in your reporting.

There are many more facts that exonerate the mayor which you did not tell in your story. I will not list them because of your length limit.

David R. Mumma, Payson

(Editor's note: The many witness statements taken by police regarding the Murphy investigation support the Roundup's original report of the incident at the Ox Bow.)

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