By Arthur Alpert
In this holiday season, I bring you tidings of joy!
Specifically, I jingle my bells to point out a virtue of the Albuquerque Journal – its modesty or the disinclination to call attention to itself.
Look for yourself. It’s in a three-paragraph “Around the Nation” item Thursday, Dec. 9, A3, datelined Washington. The lead says:
“House and Senate Republicans on Wednesday thwarted Democratic efforts to award $250 checks to Social Security recipients facing a second consecutive year without a cost-of-living increase.”
How easy it would have been for Journal management, in its dedication to the Republican Party, to pound its chest in the headline. As in, for example:
“Republicans Kill Social Security Bonus”
“GOP Thwarts Dems’ Giveaway to Retirees”
“GOP: US Can’t Afford to Coddle Geezers”
But no, a Journal editor wrote:
“Plan to Give Seniors $250 Checks Fails”
See the decency? This was a flat refusal to take credit for the deed. Note, too, that the self-abnegation came at some cost. For in removing the subject (Republicans) the writer went from active to passive voice (“Plan…Fails”) resulting in a deadly dull headline.
What heartwarming self-sacrifice, especially as we approach Christmas.
The three-paragraph story right under it may represent more Journal modesty. Or is it nobility?
This story and headline said the DREAM Act passed in the House, 216-198. No mention, none, of Democrats, Republicans and how they voted.
I had to visit the N.Y. Times web site to learn that all but eight Republicans (including three Florida Cuban-Americans) voted “No,” no legal status for the children of illegal immigrants pursuing higher education.
Omitting the vote must be another refusal on the part of the Republican Journal to take credit, another expression of modesty.
On the same page, the primary “Daily Briefing” story from AP Washington dealt with Democratic opposition to President Obama’s compromise with (or surrender to) the GOP on taxes.
Surprisingly, the story never mentioned that the GOP has its own internal debate on the deficit-raising measure.
But I won’t discuss that today.
You see, the Journal’s failure to report on Tea Party-GOP Establishment tensions just doesn’t evoke the spirit of the holidays. And I so enjoyed exploring Journal management’s extraordinary modesty.
It was modesty, wasn’t it?