Monday, April 7, 2008

When Our Newspaper Editor Thinks Too Much

I cracked open my (free online copy of) The Free Lance-Star today and couldn't help but laugh at the op-ed [here].

What a surprise to learn that my local newspaper editor is now an expert in rural planning and development practices! Moreover, he appears to know more than our elected officials combined and hold such a large crystal ball that he also knows more than the majority of the voters who elected these same leaders.

It must be an amazing thing to posses such vision and acumen and yet be held back by such trivial restraints such as, well, the fact that you aren't elected with solving these particular issues by the people who are most affected by them, and my meddling with the local government's decisions on the only large soapbox that we have is both irresponsible and dangerous! Never mind that no one asked you in the first place.

But then again, it's the Free Lance-Star, and the locals in these two districts especially, must surely know better than to believe the words printed in it—except for the date—they are factual and neutral about that.

It's beside the point that I happen to agree with the bulk of the opinion (that Berkeley and Livingston should remain largely rural as its resident majority wish), but I find it amazing that a NEWSpaper should get so involved in the micro-economic concerns of a specific county's districts.

Although if he happens to crack the code for making our housing values go back up, stimulate housing sales, recruits a single business to the county that employs people at greater than minimum wage, figures out a way to put a muzzle on Jerry Hill's outrageous fleecing of our county treasury, boosts tourism spending by 10%, or can opine his way into a bridge being built to connect Route 3 and Route 17 North—then I'll personally run his campaign for free!

Maybe it's time we put up "Elect Paul Akers- Landlord of Lord Spotswood's former territory" stickers on our cars?

What do you think?


At April 7, 2008 at 8:55 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The purpose of an editorial is to editorialize. It's appropriate for the local newspaper to express an opinion about the issues that challenge our community.

Of course I'll always take a newspaper editor's opinion with more than a grain of salt. But, by your own logic, everyone who does not hold elected office is disqualified from expressing an opinion about our County's future. As a blogger, I would think that's the last outcome you would want.

And, by the way, just because someone is elected to an office does not make them an expert in anything. There are have been many notable examples - locally and nationally - of voters making terrible mistakes in whom they put their trust.

The debate must center on ideas. The only idea I hear in your latest post is that you don't like the Free Lance-Star. (Yawn.) We've heard that many, many times before.

At April 7, 2008 at 3:32 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The FLS has a long history of playing politics when it shouldn't. A newspaper as this writer points out should cover news. Editorials are fine but should keep to philosophies of a general nature and not try to overturn voter's wishes.

When there is a monopoly of media as we have in this region, a newspaper should walk a fine line and err on the side of news and not try to brainwash its readers. The FLS does this worse than any paper I've ever read.

Bloggers aren't unbiased newswriters with a supposition of neutrality, especially not on a political site. I didn't come off this blog with any conclusions that he meant opinions should be suppressed, only that the newspaper shouldn't be forcing policy down the throats of our voters.


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