Letter: Troubled by tone in editorial
Posted on Jan 08, 2014 - 11:42 AM Printer Friendly View
I was not surprised to read that the Gazette-Journal endorsed the Democrat in the special election. However, I am troubled by the Editor’s tone.
It is clear the Mr. Lewis has had a distinguished career in the House of Delegates and I am not willing to say that 10 years makes him a “career politician,” the term that Mr. Coleman allegedly has used to portray Mr. Lewis in an unfavorable light. I also suspect that Mr. Coleman’s desire to portray himself as an “amateur” refers only to his political career and not his entire life experience.
The Editor has chosen to quickly dismiss any concerns about Mr. Lewis as insignificant in light of the seemingly diligent and professional job he has done in the House of Delegates to date. This is an endorsement editorial, so maybe there is no need to delve into greater detail with examples of his achievements. Yet, on the other hand, the Editor dismisses criticism of Mr. Lewis as applying only to President Obama and “generic” Democrats without explaining how Mr. Lewis’s views differ from theirs.
And, when the topic shifts to Mr. Coleman’s views, none are cited. According to the Editor, he not only is merely an “amateur,” but also lacks any vision at all for those he seeks to represent. Mr. Coleman’s sole accomplishment is the fulfillment of his desire to be an “amateur.” This conclusion is arrived at, it seems, by the candidate’s appearance on an unnamed “conservative” talk radio show with comments cherry-picked by the Editor. The result more than implies that Mr. Coleman is a racist. Moreover, as the Editor states, the situation at the heart of the matter happened sixty years ago and, without further information for the reader, the Editor opines that Mr. Coleman’s explanation is untruthful. It seems clear, from what is reported in the Gazette-Journal on a regular basis, that local control of our public schools remains a top issue and an issue unrelated to race. Regardless of who won on Election Day, the Editor had an obligation to explain why he thought Mr. Lewis would be better than Mr. Coleman at putting the People’s interests first. The Gazette-Journal’s endorsement would have been much more appropriate had it been done without cheap-shotting one of the candidates.
William H. Ashton Jr.