To the editor:
Franklin College trustee Dan Thomasson (former editor of the Scripps Howard News Service) once again, on June 19, subjects Johnson County readers of the Daily Journal to his judge and jury writing style, clearly placing himself among the destroy-Trump media.
How so? The second sentence of his “Did American voters expect something else?” bombast reads: “Americans … managed to choose a chief executive who not only isn’t suited for the job but who has no concept of its limits.”
Really? Two points: 1) What qualifies Thomasson to make such a judgment, and, 2) where was his Democrat jury when an arguably unsuited community organizer took the same office nearly nine years ago, then clearly demonstrated his lack of respect for limits to his presidency?
Comment on the remaining specific substance of this column? I think not. Why? Because Thomasson, in this citizen’s opinion, has clearly gone over to the dark side of journalist-centered news, where according to the Harvard Kennedy School Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics & Public Policy report titled “News Coverage of the 2016 National Conventions: Negative News, Lacking Context,” this op/ed writer’s illness is described in this fashion:
“The shift to journalist-centered news has been consequential. One effect has been to elevate the horse race at the expense of the election’s substance.” And, “A second consequence of the shift to journalist-centered news has been to elevate the negative at the expense of the positive.”
So, there you have it, a former editor, now guised as a commentator, carrying the journalist-centered news torch, “at the expense of objectivity, fairness and balance — the mainstays of traditional journalism for the past 100 years.”
This a slightly edited variant from yet another Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics & Public Policy report, titled: “In Search of Unbiased Reporting in Light of Brexit, Trump & Other Reporting Challenges in the UK and US,” page 2.
In closing, and speaking to Thomasson’s past as a news service editor, I found this recent (April 2017) observation by Michael Goodwin of the New York Post (former 16-year city hall bureau chief at the New York Times), to be especially telling and appropriate to Democrats’ continuing contretemps (embarrassing occurrence): “The 2016 election was the media’s Humpty Dumpty moment. It fell off the wall, shattered into a million pieces, and can’t be put back together again. The orgy of visceral Trump-bashing continues unabated.” Imprimis, May/June 2017, p.6.