Mr. Dionne, meet Mr. Stengel

January 4th, 2011 · 3 Comments · Uncategorized

By Arthur Alpert

“I was not successful as a ball player,” said manager Casey Stengel, “as it was a game of skill.”

I wish lack of skill explained the Albuquerque Journal’s misleading headline on E.J. Dionne Jr.’s Op Ed column that appeared in today’s print edition, Tuesday, Jan. 4 — “GOP Newcomers May Need to Steer to Center”.

(It is interesting to note that the Dionne column found on the online edition of the Journal bears a different headline — “What GOP Congress might bring” — which also happens to be what is used in the original Washington Post version.)

But that would be silly for (as I have noted recently) the Journal boasts a long rap sheet of offenses against Dionne’s essays. Ergo, it’s not incompetence; it’s sabotage.

But why? Publishing Dionne’s mild liberalism serves management’s interests, giving the Journal a patina of fairness to obscure its deep-grained partisanship.

So why write rubrics that contradict, distort or (like today) put extraneous words in his mouth?

Why write inanities?

Obviously, Journal management plays by its own rules and said rules permit denigrating its own essayists. In that context, these ugly rubrics could be the Journal’s way of thumbing its corporate nose, of telling us – those who don’t own newspapers – where to go.

(Hint: it’s a very hot place and it’s not Phoenix.)

If so, that’s sad. I would have much preferred to borrow from Stengel again, asking, “Can’t anybody here play this game?”

But while Journal editors’ lack of skill is impressive, it cannot explain the habitual undermining of Mr. Dionne.

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3 Comments so far ↓

  • Jim Baca

    Did you notice there was no mention in the journal today of the new governor sacking the entire environmental improvement board?

  • Morrie Blumberg

    I much prefer the Journal’s suggestion, in headline, that the GOP’s newcomers move to the Center instead of moving even further the other way.

  • Denise Tessier

    Jim,
    There was a story in today’s Journal about Martinez ousting all seven members of the EIB, but it was truly buried. It’s a good piece by Michael Hartranft, which ran inside on page D4. I thought it deserved better play when I saw it, but in the Journal’s defense, the story had some pretty stiff competition on A1 today: Udall taking a lead in filibuster reform, the AG ruling on same-sex marriages being valid here, the hikers found in the Gila, the shooter at the pediatric hospital and Thom Cole afflicting Susana Martinez with a column questioning the questions she’s asking of potential political appointees. Five strong local stories.

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