Thursday, July 23, 2009

Editorial: Let's stress light, not heat in races

Overall I can go along with the sentiments that the unnamed Courier editor expresses here. But there are a couple of subversive elements to the piece that I have to point out.

The first is his setting up the online comments as useful in indicating something about public opinion more generally, and giving himself a pat on the back for putting the facility into the site. I needn't say much about the logical disconnect there.

More subtle is his assertion that "The mike was theirs. They all said everything they wanted to say about themselves to make their case," and by implication the Courier is acting as a transparent conduit from the candidate to the voter. This is false. The editor or his writer has been injecting information into the candidate stories from outside the interview context, things the candidate is not saying, without identifying the difference. That skews the articles, in at least one case in favor of public controversy showing the candidate in a negative light.

I would have chosen a more investigative, fact-based "who-is-this-person" approach, but the Courier editor volunteered to do what amounts to electioneering for the candidates. To then go in and slyly undercut the ones the editor doesn't like is dirty pool.

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