Friday, April 20, 2007

Offline today

I'll be leaving fairly early for our gig at the Chandler Jazz Festival, so if you don't get a reply to your comment, it's not that I don't love you, I'm working and I'll get to it tomorrow. Have a great Friday!

Columns: A question of balance

The Courier prides itself in the political balance it displays on the editorial page. We report, you decide.

Today we have a love-letter to a wannabe Presidential candidate from religio-fascist nutbar Cal Thomas, originally titled "Run, Fred, Run," carried verbatim at 701 words.

Also today we have a view from Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson on the credibility or lack thereof of some of our public servants, originally titled "Are They Serious?," minus 417 of its 766 words. Now, as a topic this is a pretty easy target, but the Courier's elisions eviscerate Robinson's arguments and obscure his craft.

I'm sure these cuts were made to fit the available space, no question. But why cut one by more than half and the other by not one word?

Given the proper treatment of yesterday's column by Robinson, I'm beginning to think that at least in some cases this frequent abuse of syndicated columns is somewhat less political than it seems. Rather, the Courier page editor thinks of non-rightwing columns as filler, and treats them as such.

Editorial: "City Council advances immigration law plans"

The unnamed Courier editor damns the City with faint praise for not doing enough to sweep those untidy brown people off our streets. Presumably the editor has a proposal for how the City should go about it, one that takes into account that the City has no legal authority over immigration violations. I'd love to see that proposal, but so far all I've read is hectoring complaints and political posturing.

Letters: The Queen Bee wants to clarify ...

... and only muddies the water further.

A1: "City plans to borrow $30M for variety of projects"

Another story by Cindy Barks gives us some meat among the page-one filler. This is the sort of dry, totally non-sexy story you really need to read and absorb to be an informed voter, and should be central to the mission of any local paper.

I'd just like to hear more detail on how we're gonna pay for this. I see a little on water/sewer rates. How about some numeric projections and proposals?

A1: "Transit choice now in hands of local governments"

Props to the editors for giving Cindy Barks' story some prominence. We learn that the public "overwhelmingly" supports an extensive fixed-route bus system connecting our communities and workplaces. In the past the Courier has officially poo-poohed mass transit, but that resistance seems to be softening of late. Let's hope our elected officials can see the writing on the wall as well.

Coming: The Renzi raid

The story broke after press time for the Courier last night, so no blame for having nothing in today's paper about the FBI raid on the business of Congresscritter Rick Renzi's wife in Sonoita yesterday. I'll look forward to reading the Courier's treament tomorrow, though.

Update, 9:50am: Anonymous commenter (John K?) points us to this, posted after my A1 read. Thanks for the tip! Now: Will the Courier do any original writing on this?