Earlier this week, I laughed out loud while reading this post from http://www.lonestartimes.com/. It seems that the writers over there have about as much respect for the Chronicle as I do. They also find it as wildly amusing that such a ridiculous newspaper could somehow earn its editor, Jeff Cohen, an award.
Now, we've discussed the issue of liberalism in the media and "liberal arts" education before, and I've got no problem with the idea of "liberalism" in a news entity. Editors and writers of newspapers are just as entitled to their opinions as the rest of them. And they are more than welcome to express their opinions often and loudly. I think its great that newspapers endorse candidates (even though I usually disagree with them).
I think it's great if they want to write opinion columns opposing every issue I personally believe in on a daily basis. Hell, it's a free country.
I just ask that you try to maintain some semblance of credibility and keep your opinions designated as opinions, and still report the NEWS when it happens. Your omissions are just as bad (if not worse) than your characterizations in news pieces.
Obviously, I'm still pretty fired up about Alan Bernstein still not reporting Yale Professor Gil Fried's experience with Pat Lykos (I will be back to you, in a minute, Alan), but the Chronicle's B.S. goes much farther than that.
It goes up to Jeff Cohen, the Editor of the Chronicle (or maybe we should call him the Chuck Rosenthal of the Chronicle, to give the folks at home a little perspective). Jeff is married to anti-death penalty advocate Katherine Kase. Katherine is to the death penalty what the Terminator is to Sarah Connor -- that is, continuously trying to eradicate it, and failing.
Obviously, I'm pro-death penalty, but I have a healthy respect for those who aren't. Although I don't agree with those who wish to abolish the death penalty, I at least understand their argument. But Katherine Kase is a lot more credible to me than her husband. She makes no bones about her feelings and fights against the death penalty in the legal field. Her husband, on the other hand, buries stories that don't suit his and his wife's agenda.
Want some examples? Andrea Yates is a household name, right?
Can you tell me who Elijah Joubert is? How about Dexter Johnson? Antonio Williams?
They were Defendants who were charged with capital murder because they each killed multiple people and were sent to death row. Joubert killed an check cashing clerk, as well as the police officer trying to save her. Johnson robbed, raped, and murdered a girl and killed her boyfriend for good measure. Williams killed five people in several incidents over the summer of 2006.
Haven't heard of them? That's because the Chronicle didn't pay much attention to those cases when they all got sentenced to death. Why? Because heaven forbid that you picked up the newspaper, read about what they did, and said "Thank goodness for the death penalty!"
If Cohen wants to write about the death penalty being unfair and immoral in his opinion pages, go for it. But hiding stories like that to help your agenda is just, well, chickenshit.
Now, back to you, Dear Alan Bernstein.
You and I have been going round and round about the yarmulke story for weeks now. Quite frankly, I'm just confused as hell as why you 1) don't run the story; or 2) just give a brief explanation in the comments as to why not. I'm confused as to why, when Anon C wrote on your blog at the Chronicle, that you elected to hunt down her real identity and e-mail her at work to let her know you knew who she was.
Kelly Siegler has put, what, like 18 people on death row? It's no wonder that your boss hates her. It's no wonder that he wants anybody but Kelly Siegler to be the District Attorney. It's no wonder that Jeff Cohen would have you dig up a story on Kelly from the 1980s when she used the word "Jew" as a verb. It's no wonder that Cohen would want to make Kelly look as bad as possible.
But you're a journalist, Alan, and you know what's a story and what's not a story. Are you just following orders? Hmm, maybe you are having just as much trouble getting through to your "Chuck Rosenthal" as the ADAs were having getting through to theirs. (NOTE: I totally stole this analogy from pro. victims' comments at Ron's blog).
You know that running the story on Kelly and then not on Lykos is chickenshit. You know that your editor is trying to sandbag her by tying her as closely as a newspaper can to Chuck Rosenthal.
You know that this wasn't why you became a journalist.
So, Alan, to paraphrase The Silence of the Lambs, are you strong enough to point that high-powered perception at yourself, and explain to us folks at home your actions and the actions of the paper? Come on man, you've been an employee there for at least 28 years, so you must be part of Jeff's "inner-circle". Can you explain why we shouldn't just attribute all of the paper's bad actions (and bad writing) to you?
NOTE: I have no expectation whatsoever that anyone from the Chronicle will respond to this article.