A conservatory of Ldotter blogs.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Doesn't that make it. . .

. . .even worse?

Editor & Publisher joins the Kerry-Edwards damage control squad by pointing out that the hometown paper that has taken to referring to Edwards as "Senator Gone" is just an itty-bitty one that only comes out three times a week.

Well, OK. Let's see how I would take that if I were in the same position -- a sitting senator, running for the vice presidency, hailing from small-town America. I'll stipulate that I can't really say what it's like to be a sitting senator running for vice president, but I do know what it's like to live in a small town. In fact, I lived in a town so small that it didn't even have its own paper. Instead, it has a small section of a county-wide newspaper that only comes out once a week.

I know a lot of people around here. Chances are, if you're in the area and ask ten people at random if they know me, I'd just about bet my last cigarette that one of them will know about me, either directly or indirectly. The guy who runs the water and sewer service used to cut the hair of most of the boys in town. A girl who went to the Miss USA pageant over ten years ago now has a sign pointing out the fact that she lives here posted on the roadside as you drive through on your way to some other place. She's a friend of mine.

And, odds are, if I were a sitting senator, running for the vice presidency, everyone would know me. That's a really big deal in a small place. And, I can't imagine anything less than fawning treatment from the local weekly press, if I managed to attain such a position of prominence. Favorite sons are heavily doted on in small towns. They're a source of pride for small communities -- something they can brag about. "Yeah, I knew him growing up. I'm a lifelong Republican, but I think he's a good ol' boy, and I don't mind voting for him one bit."

Little newspapers draw their talent from a very small, local pool -- people likely to know what kind of person you are. And for E&P to demean those little newspapers strikes me as the exact opposite of what a publication that purports to work for the betterment of the press should do. Steven Brill ought to be ashamed of this provincial attitude and insularity. John Edwards ought to be ashamed of every facet of his Senate career. No record. No accomplishments. Just a lot of ambition.

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