Plain Dealer reader rep, in the comments thread of his column today, wrote that “a lot of us are troubled by the obvious conflict” of my role as a columnist, married to a U.S. Senator. I was stunned. I posted a response, on Cleveland.com, copied in comment below.
I read Ted Diadiun’s column, all the comments there (as of about 11am), I left a comment myself, and read all the comments in Connie’s Facebook thread (linked to above).
My opinion: Although such an out of date, out of line, out of touch with reality column as Ted has written reads mostly like linkbait, I would urge people to leave comments at that column on Cleveland.com anyway.
The most obvious sign of not being of the times is Ted’s suggestion that only people who write for newspapers are journalists -as opposed to people who write for online outlets. In responding to a comment in the column’s online thread, Ted wrote:
Well, Indep, you say that objective journalism died in 2008, then cite a lot of people who work for electronic newsrooms, which basically makes my point. Most of those people are not journalists, in the sense that newspaper people are. What does the fact that Allison Payne, whoever she is, cheered for Democrats have to do with what we do at The Plain Dealer? Send me the name of a Plain Dealer journalist who has donated to a campaign and I will acknowledge that you have a point. So far, you have none.
What on earth does that mean? Very pre-2005 in 2007, but now, this incredibly constrained notion of who is a journalist is symbolic of decades-old clinging to a reality that no longer exists.
Unless the PD is interested in:
- disclosing for us all the corporate boards their business side folks are on,
- disclosing for us all the donations the business side folks have made,
- making Mark Naymik stop writing news stories as well as opinion columns (because how do we know his bias isn’t filtering in or out what’s in the news stories in line with his opinions expressed in his opinion columns)
- putting in all the bylines of people who are married to other people at the PD, especially where editorial and news and business intersect
then Ted’s picking on Connie Schultz is nothing more than gratuitous griping. She should never have had to have the “Oh and I’m married to US Senator Sherrod Brown” tagline placed on her columns in the first place, and every time I see it now, it looks like a relic from some era long gone, making the reader wonder, “And everyone else is married to whom?”