“Erroneous Impressions”

I fenced with Chuck Frederick about a letter-to-the-editor supporting Art Johnston which did not pass muster. Chuck had his nose out of joint with my suggestion that the Editors favored one side in the school board wars over the other. In my own defense I didn’t say that outright. I only suggested it might not be all together without substance.

The Tribune staff is made up of all sorts of locals some on either side of the Red Plan debate and the subsequent issues which have followed its completion. From the beginning lower level News Tribuners have whispered in the ears of the Plan’s critics when they saw interesting things going on in the Paper’s inner sanctum. Sometimes its not even that subtle. Art had a member of the Editorial Board walk out on him during one of his sessions with the Board muttering that he was the problem with the Board. So, when the Editors make reference to Art there is always room to doubt the Editors’ objectivity. For instance on May 13th of this year the Trib’s editorial following the Board’s retreat from pursuing its efforts to remove Art from the Board was headlined: “No Victory for Johnston.” Subsequently a staffer told Art that this followed a delegation of Board members and Administrators trooping into the Editor’s offices to tell their side of the story. I too have met with the editors but not with such spectacular results.

Its not the first time the Editors have followed the Administration and or Board majority’s lead. A few years ago they reported that 32 million of savings would soon be available to spend on the District from all the Red Plan savings. Later the Trib had to eat crow and explain that they had misreported the facts in their editorial when no such bonanza was forthcoming.

This is a long prologue to the “erroneous impressions” title I’ve headed this post with. Yesterday I made some critical remarks about the apparent opinion piece about wetlands which I initially thought was about the environment only to discover it was more about beating up the Edison Schools.

Well, today there was an editorial that walked back even more than I disagreed with about the column. It was written by the Editors but it let Edison Schools headmaster rebut many of the details. It wasn’t quite an admission that they didn’t properly vet the column but unlike my unhappy letter to the editor writer it slipped past the Editors without a very critical going over.

Is this evidence that I was right to suggest the Trib puts its thumb on editorial comment. Hardly! On the other hand my eyebrow is always raised when my side has to jump through ever smaller hoops to get its point of view across.

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