The Wilmington StarNews Editorial Board (Publisher Robert Gruber and Editorial Page Editor Tricia Vance) interrupted its usual biased “commentary” to announce a new policy: “Specifically, we will not endorse candidates for office,” (formerly assumed to be a duty to the readers) except that they will “make recommendations on ballot issues and constitutional amendments,” including the proposed baseball stadium. Fine. That is their prerogative. (link)
The Board goes on to justify frequent and obvious liberal biases with hypocritical language. Conservative readers have long noted this and StarNews editors have been confronted at this site. We offer commentary on their views and that of other political activists with whom we disagree. But, we don’t hide our positions behind a façade of “objectivity and fairness.” Several comments referring to presumed disinterest in politics made by the Board give us pause to ponder the question: Who do they expect will be fooled?
These two people doth assume too much: that unlike “partisan” people they hover above the political fray; that they “do not have a vested interest” in political outcomes; that they “strive hard for objectivity and fairness”; that they are nonpartisan. Please.
By definition editorials reflect personal opinion. Editorials don’t have to be fair, objective; or even accurate and honest. Why not courageously say so? We understand.
The “debate” over endorsements, say Board members, overshadows “robust, fact-based debate on the issues at stake, as well as candidates’ positions on these issues.” So, they now remove that shadow.
But a larger cloud looms over the Editorial Board. Now they “have an opportunity to argue our principles,” it is written. That begs the questions: Should we assume that they have not previously had an opportunity to argue on principle? If not, why not? And, of what principles do they refer?
Strange those editors bring up that subject. I recall an editorial on May 17, 2009 in which the Board listed ten “long-held principles” that guide their editorial decisions speaking with an “independent and decisive voice.” That sounds good, as did the principles. However, often I find that those statements of principle don’t match some of what appears on the editorial page.
In fact, in a series of one-sided “debates” (no editorial response) at this site, I discussed each of the principles and pointed out editorial disparities on various issues. For example, a first editorial principle stated that editors expected government to be accountable to the public. I expressed my opinion:
Star-News editorials rarely expose and explain to readers such unaccountability as the irresponsible use of public money to fund nonprofit organizations; excessive spending at the community college and university; and wasteful city spending on an inefficient bus system and downtown projects favoring a few commercial interests, while neglecting the local infrastructure.
Editors conclude the new policy editorial with high-minded language. They say a “newspaper’s editorial page has a duty to help drive discussion of the issues.” They hope to “keep the focus on a vision for our community, our state and our nation.”
That raises a fundamental problem with liberal editors; they accept collectivist visions of how we should live, and often support political visionaries and bureaucrats to carry out unworkable idealistic illusions. Of course, all that leads to imposing bigger government, higher taxes and more regulation on us—resulting in less individual freedom. That policy I cannot abide.
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