Name that Party: the return of an old parlor game

This little game, popular several years ago, had apparently fallen into desuetude. I’ve written earlier about this game here, here, and here. To play, you read a news story about a politician caught with his pants down or his hand in the cookie jar. According to the rules of the game, the politician’s party affiliation is not mentioned. It is up to the reader to guess what it is. The public soon became tired of this game because the unmentionable party was always Democrat. Republican miscreants were always identified.

This particular instance involves serious allegations of voter fraud by the Mayor of the St Louis County municipality of Berkeley. The FBI was involves in an investigation of improper handling of absentee ballots. In this case we have two two-fers: not only is the party affiliation not mentioned, but also the race of the suspected cheater. There are two news accounts, one by St Louis Post-Dispatch reporters here and another, based on the Post story, by the Associated Press. The latter story was picked up by the Kansas City Star and the Columbia Daily Tribune.

In the AP story neither the party nor the race of the miscreant was mentioned. (The Post story showed a photograph of the Mayor, revealing his race.) We leave it to the reader to play this game and get the correct answers. It is rather delicious that the reportage mentions that a St Louis County elections official was a Republican, but declines to specify the party of the Mayor. This reminds me of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune refusing to call Somali Muslims implicated in terrorism anything but “Minnesota men.” The Powerline blog had extensive fun with this politically correct reflex.

“Name that party” of course raises the issue of journalistic bias. Interestingly, in  the same issue the Columbia Tribune published an article from a retired University of MIssouri journalism professor disputing “the attacks by Donald Trump’s campaign against my colleagues.” I’ll comment on that article in the next post.    Troglo

Troglo  (L. H. Kevil)

Retire Hank Waters: the fairgrounds tax editorial

Hank Waters, an elderly scion of the family owning the Columbia, Missouri Daily Tribune, is solely responsible for its editorials. Thursday’s editorial was Fairground Tax: the nature of the opposition.

The title suggests that Mr. Waters will discuss the arguments behind the opposition to the tax and give reasons why he supports it. We expected a balanced, fair treatment of the arguments pro and con. We did not get it. Most of the reasons behind the opposition are ignored and, when brought forward, misstated. His support of the tax often boils down to assertions empty of substantiation. The straw-man opposition is painted as stupid, short-sighted, and acting against its own wishes and interests. This reminds us of the book, What’s the matter with Kansas?, which with typical liberal condescension details how stupid Kansans are to vote Republican against their obvious self interest. Mr. Waters gets so many things wrong that we cannot resist the temptation to respond point by point. But before we get into the sins of commission, we want to highlight those of omission. There are many serious and disturbing issues surrounding this poorly drafted proposal no serious commentator can legitimately ignore. By doing so Mr. Waters’s editorials betray an arrogant disrespect for his audience. He has far too long been a member of the good-ole-boys clique that believes it alone has the right to run local government.

If Mr. Waters refuses to retire, he should at least bring in editorials from guest editors. Continue reading

The 96th Missouri General Assembly

Tribune Watch – a regular feature

The front page of the May 19th, 2012 edition of the Columbia Daily Tribune summarizes the achievements of the 96th General Assembly with this headline: “No ‘big idea’ measures emerge.” The subhead reports: “Lawmakers are left frustrated.”

We think the subhead would be more accurate if it read: “Left lawmakers are frustrated.” The Tribune’s second page, by the same reporter, reveals that the local Boone County delegation thought the legislative session was successful. So who was frustrated?   Continue reading