Thursday, February 25, 2010

"DeSoto Viewpoint" Identical to Philadelphia Inquirer's

This morning's local editorial, apparently written by Paul Hoover (based on the names at the top of the page), opines that the country needs a law to "make it easier to find out who is paying for political ads in federal elections."

We couldn't agree more.

We also think it should be easier to find out who writes the local editorials because it's pretty clear that neither Hoover nor anyone else listed as being in charge of the Arcadian's editorial page actually wrote this one. Someone at the Philadelphia Inquirer did and published it a week ago.

Aside from the plagiarism -- putting your name on stuff you did not write -- it's strange that the Charlotte Sun's weekly insert for DeSoto County is spending space on advocacy that has nothing to do with any local issue. The editorial presented as Hoover's work speaks solely to federal elections and legislation introduced by a New York senator and a Maryland congressman.

DeSoto residents would be better served by reading opinions what won't be covered anywhere else -- the pros and cons of charter schools, aging water plants, and after-hours clubs, to name just three local issues. Hoover has a wealth of choices available for a dozen inches of "Our View."

Except the Inquirer's editorial staff didn't write about any of those things.

Before sending our daily press to the recycle bin, we must add to this post's categories "really bad taste," "questionable professional ethics," and "invasion of privacy:"

The editor who brought Gondolier readers a front page photograph of dead dogs, has now invaded the hospital room and privacy of a woman who was survived a car accident earlier this week.

Brooky Brown, “project editor,” apparently received an e-mail from the victim's “friend.” The victim's “friend” apparently had been allowed into an intensive-care unit and was glad to share the experience. The victim's “friend” writes a bizarre e-mail to update the woman’s acquaintances – which turns out to be merely the next stage in this lengthening series of lapses in professional judgment.

So, Brooky get the e-mail, and what does Brooky do? Publish it.

“... [she] is seriously injured and in intensive care. Her left arm is broken and in a cast. Her nose and some facial bones are broken. Her eyes are black and blue but OK, though the left one was swollen shut at the time. She has several stitches in her face and much bruising. Extensive surgery was performed on [her] right leg and there will be several more surgeries to the leg in the future. In fact, they will be doing surgery on Wednesday and Thursday.”

Quoting from one “friend’s” graphic e-mail that has brazenly invaded an accident victim's privacy isn't sufficient. But Brown needs more, say an e-mail written to family by the victim’s daughters (whom Brown calls "girls") describing their mother's broken sternum, facial reconstruction and the insertion of a plate.

And yes, Brooky gets this e-mail, too. And what does Brooky do? Publish it. In the newspaper, front page and jump. In the newspaper that's archived on the World Wide Web -- forever. Nice work, Brooky.


  1. That editorial comes directly from the Charlotte Sun's well-staffed Washington Bureau.

  2. ... and the bad-taste bedside reportage comes directly from our hometown talent.