Fig Leaf

January 11th, 2012 · No Comments · Uncategorized

By Arthur Alpert

Why does Albuquerque Journal management run E.J. Dionne Jr.’s syndicated essays?

Surely, the editors don’t believe that publishing the soft-spoken liberal fools anybody into thinking the Journal is fair.

Not when there are umpteen columns by Cal Thomas and Jonah Goldberg and Charles Krauthammer and George Will to every Dionne piece.

And not when Journal editors consistently write headlines that obscure Dionne’s arguments or are so dull you don’t want to read the piece. Or both.

Take the headline over the Dionne column the Journal published Tuesday, Jan. 10:

GOP Needs a Shift and a Lift”.

Consider first what the rubric writer decided not to put atop the essay:

• Dionne’s view that GOP presidential candidates may be helping President Obama by wooing the party’s far right.
• Or, that Iowa caucus-goers are not middle of the road voters.
• Or, that the current bloodletting in the GOP primaries may hurt the party come November.
• Or, that the candidates haven’t had to “hone arguments that have wide appeal.”

Rejecting those down-to-earth theses, the headline writer indulged in a kind of abstraction.

“GOP Needs a Shift and a Lift”.

Yes, this misrepresents Dionne’s column. And yes, it’s very dull. On re-reading, however, I realize it might be taken as Dionne’s brotherly advice to the GOP.

So, why indeed does the Journal run Dionne? Do his columns (and other “liberal” essays constitute a fig leaf intended to cover the anatomical facts?

Like management’s shameful disdain for fairness?

Sorry, what I just wrote is too earthy.

Give me some time and I’ll come up with an abstraction thereof.

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  • Roland

    I would say that the headline writer indulged in a flat-out endorsement of the Republican party, and dishonestly passed it along as if Dione were doing the endorsing. How else could we interpret the statement that the Republicans need a “lift”? The ABQ Journal has a long track record of slipping its political biases into its headlines.

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