By Arthur Alpert
What’s most impressive about the Albuquerque Journal is its imperviousness to events. Elections, for example, may come and go, but we can depend upon the state’s largest daily to focus, without blinking, on promoting its editorial agenda through the paper – on its opinion pages and even the so-called news columns.
Of course, that defies journalistic decency.
What is the Journal’s editorial agenda? Rather than characterize it, let me note it would not displease the Koch Brothers (and the organizations they fund, like ALEC); the American Petroleum Institute, Big Pharma, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and, of course, hundreds of corporate-funded “free market think tanks.”
Perhaps coincidentally, the Journal exempts these very individuals and institutions from reporting.
So I wasn’t surprised when the Journal management’s post-election message seemed to be, “Congratulations, winners. Now govern according to the losers’ views. ”
One day soon I will offer evidence to support that reading, but as you know the Journal’s strategy is as much about omitting stories as publishing them.
So today let’s deal with the daily’s impressive reluctance to report on threats to voting.
No, I won’t rehash what I wrote here Oct. 22 about the editors’ blindness to the national drive to disenfranchise mostly poor and minority citizens.
Nor am I thinking of those long lines in Florida that may have amounted to voter suppression.
I refer to what is happening in Arizona.
As New Mexicans, you and I know Arizona, right? It is on our western border, a few hours’ drive from the Duke City, minutes from Gallup and Farmington.
So Journal management almost certainly knows it’s there. Heck, the editors may even have read that many registered voters (poor, minorities) haven’t had their votes counted yet and that some are new to the process.
Even that as I write, Wednesday, Nov. 14, a lot of the ballots they cast – provisionally – may be discarded, per a quirky election law.
Wow! A story to stir the passions of any red-blooded newsman or woman I’ve known! And, fer gosh sakes, since Arizona’s next door, the (presumably tight) travel budget is irrelevant.
“Let’s get on our horses and report the heck out of that sucker,” says the editor in my head.
Ah, but he’s only in my head, an echo of editors I’ve known who became giddy at the prospect of finding the truth and who didn’t give a fig over political fallout.
Obviously, since the Journal has published nothing on the story, my editors don’t work there.
Note: As of this writing, some 600,000 votes remain to be counted in Maricopa County. And, per a Tucson TV station, Pima County officials thought they’d finish tabulating early ballots Wednesday and start on provisional ballots Thursday, the 15th.