Ignoring the Lesson Plan
One of the topics that came up on last night’s Violent Roundtable was the failure of mainstream commentators to leaven their mockery of conservative concern about President Obama’s in-school presentation with an acknowledgment of the objectionable suggested lesson plan that stoked the ire in the first place. Host Matt Allen suggested that bias leads such commentators to accept administration assurances that they’ve taken care of that aspect and then — poof — forget about it altogether. That’s certainly plausible, given the likelihood that many MSMers didn’t even know about the dispute until alternative-media heat and constituent reaction had brought the story to a head.
Particularly disappointing was the Providence Journal editorial on the matter (no longer online), published well after the event in question. Space is understandably short in such pieces, but by any journalistic standard with even mild pretensions to critical objectivity, the lesson plan should have been included in the summary of the controversy. Consequently, the reader can’t help but feel that the editors’ parting line is less a conclusion than a purpose:
The flap over the president’s speech diminished his critics, while enhancing his own status as a role model.
An editorial, whether right or wrong in its expressed opinion, should represent the collected wisdom of the newspaper in which it appears — or at least of the guardians of its opinion pages. That it couldn’t accurately summarize the sides in a national story like this suggests that it is content to enhance the status of a preferred politician at the expense of its own.