If PD’s Reader Representative Reps Readers, PD’s Demise Closer Than We Know

I’ve lifted this description from Connie Schultz’s’ Facebook page primarily because it’s succinct (apologies but due linkage to Connie):

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My opinion: Although such an out of date, out of line, out of touch with reality column as Ted has written reads mostly like linkbait, I would urge people to leave comments at that column on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?”

7 thoughts on “If PD’s Reader Representative Reps Readers, PD’s Demise Closer Than We Know

  1. Pingback: Neohawk.Org PD Lack of Transparency or Just Dishonesty

  2. I would like to see the boards and donations of the PD editorial board disclosed. AND who they are married to. That’s transparency

  3. Jill:

    Ted D. is simply living in the past. He can’t stand the idea that newspapers no longer control the faucets where news pours from. I have debated this with him. Earlier this year, I told that the people who write online like yourself are closer to what the founder’s envisioned with the First Amendment than the corporate behemoths who own big chunks of Ice Age media. I’m glad that Connie has her column; hell it’s cool that she is identified as Sherrod Brown’s wife. People can see that, and say right on, at least those who agree with her and Sherrod, and there are plenty who do. The job now is to figure out how to get them to the polls in large enough numbers so he holds the Senate seat.

  4. Bill, I appreciate the back story and I’ve recently read the book for the second time so I’m familiar with that passage. But how are you saying that that’s relevant to what Ted’s written, both in his column and in his comment thread?

    (Hope you’re well and I’m gald to see you blogging again – even if only occasionally!)

  5. Hi Jill:

    I noticed your piece today about the flap Ted D. has ginned up about Connie Schultz and her column. But, sadly, there is evidence that Democratic politics intruded into the Plain Dealer newsroom as Sherrod Brown geared up to run for the U.S. Senate. In Connie’s book “… and His Lovely Wife,” she wrote (pps 18-19) of a meeting with an editor in the newspaper’s office in downtown Cleveland. The editor told her: “Sherrod should run. This country needs him to run, and he needs you by his side to do it. You’ll be a tremendous asset. Look at what you believe in. Look who you’ve been fighting for your entire career. That’s who he’ll be running for, and they will vote for him and he can win. You can always come back to this work if you want. Or you can move on to something bigger. You have nothing but options, but this is the right time, maybe the only time, for him to run.”

    That conversation helped her decide that she should get aboard the campaign. I don’t know if it was proper for an editor to counsel her in that manner in a meeting room at the Plain Dealer.

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