There’s so much lameness in the Virginia corporate media’s editorial pages, and in such a variety of lame ways, that it’s hard to decide which paper’s editorial page is the lamest.
In the past, I would have said the Richmond Times-Dispatch, but that page has gotten less egregious since a bunch of its resident right wingnuts moved on to Dominion Energy (no, that’s not satire) or wherever they go after they’ve done their damage. I mean, it’s still not progressive or anything, but it’s not as bat****-crazy as it was for years.
Let’s not forget the inaptly named “Daily Progress” (nothing about this editorial board is about “progress”) either, which among other things endorsed crazy Dave Brat for Congress, writing that Brat’s “an economist by training and trade who also formally specializes in ethics,” that “Washington needs both,” and that if Brat “can push Congress toward sound spending decisions, and toward principled decisions of every type, Virginia will be well served.” Hahahaha. The Daily Progress also endorsed Denver Riggleman for Congress over Leslie Cockburn, stating that they “agree with many of his campaign positions” (which, if you look at them, are basically right wingnut). Then there’s this utter drivel in the aftermath of Robert Mueller’s testimony before Congress, sliming Mueller as “[that] tentative, exhausted creature on our televisions — the one who seemed to have a less-than-comprehensive grasp of the finer details — was the guy in charge of the report.” Yuck.
Then there’s the Roanoke Times editorial page, which earlier this year actually published an op-ed from a self-proclaimed “white supremacist” who argued that anyone mentioning racism is a racist. Then in April, the Roanoke Times published an unhinged rant by a fracked-gas pipeline shill about supposed “eco-terrorists.” This Monday, they published this crud by another fossil fuel industry shill, which was bad enough, but made even worse by the paper’s failure to alert readers about where this guy earns his keep. Perhaps the Roanoke Times’ slogan should be: journalistic ethics, who needs ’em anyway? Also from the Roanoke Times, who can forget the editorial board’s bizarre endorsement of far-right Republican Mark “Criminalize Miscarriages” Obenshain over Democrat Mark Herring for Attorney General in 2013? Or how about this “both sides” editorial from late October 2017, falsely equating Ed Gillespie’s race-baiting campaign with Democrats’ tying Trump’s racist rhetoric to the tiki-torch neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville? Gack.
Last but…ok, least, there’s the right-wing rag, the Winchester Star, which churns out rancid editorials on a regular basis. Just a few recent examples include:
- Border songs: AOC’s intent is not truth, but to inflame
- Editorial: Jefferson denigrated … and near Declaration Day, no less (“We’ve rasped and railed over some time that America is in severe trouble cultural, due in no small part to the elite’s deliberate erasure of history. Nothing, it seems, is secularly sacred enough for the PC/Progressive crowd to take ridiculous aim at early heroes of this country“)
- Editorial: Sophomoric Behavior in the GA (“…we don’t know quite what to say about the deportment of General Assembly Democrats in Richmond who are threatening to boycott next Tuesday’s 400th anniversary in Jamestown should Mr. Trump decide to come. Except to label it puerile, juvenile, sophomoric, even babyish.”)
- Editorial: Right about Baltimore (“Unfortunately, no matter how Democrats rasp and rail, the president is often right in his observations. He didn’t need to take a jab or 10 at Rep. Elijah Cummings, whose West Baltimore district is, in fact, a decaying mess. Mr. Trump could have left well enough alone, especially when the inevitable Democratic response would be to label him a “racist” — again. In truth, filth and decay know no race“)
- Editorial: El Paso, Dayton: Guns still easier to blame (“It is far easier to blame an inanimate object — guns — than to undertake the difficult, soul-searching work outlined above. Until we as a nation make that commitment, the killings will continue.”)
- Let’s not forget the Winchester Star’s 2016 endorsement of Republican Barbara Comstock, who they absurdly claimed was a “common-sense conservative,” over Democrat LuAnn Bennett, who they called “an Arlington-style liberal not at home in the politically diverse 10th District,” and who they claimed would “follow the lead of Mrs. Clinton and tax, tax, tax.”
And today, we get this editorial (“Northam’s Jamestown boycott more than a snub”), in which the Winchester Star spews the following:
- Some blather re: “the fooferaw about the second round of Democratic presidential debates.” “Fooferaw?” Who the hell knows.
- “How did the Mother of Presidents suddenly shed its standard decorum? Six words: ‘President Trump decided to show up.’ And, as we know, Virginia Democrats see all kinds of red when the president is even mentioned.” Right, Democrats “see red” because…the Winchester Star doesn’t mention any of it, of course, including Trump’s out-of-control corruption, incompetence, misogyny, xenophobia, racism, etc, etc. Funny how they missed all that.
- “The antic showboating of Del. Ibraheem Samirah was hailed by some as someone availing himself of his First Amendment rights and, while that may have been true, it was hardly the time or place to do it.” Of course, the Trumpsters at the Winchester Star would *never* think it’s “the time or place” to protest their hero and cult leader, Trump.
- “And Gov. Northam? He made a speech earlier in the day, a few hours before Mr. Trump, speaking not of the tradition’s majesty, but of Virginia’s dubious 21st century achievements — i.e., homosexual marriage, elevation of the transgender lifestyle, etc. And then disgracefully departed, nowhere to be seen or heard when Mr. Trump spoke.” So much to unpack here, so little time, starting with the Winchester Star still railing about “homosexual marriage.” Also gotta love the Winchester Star’s reference to a supposed “transgender lifestyle.” Seriously, it’s now a “lifestyle,” like deciding to move out to the country or whatever? Bizarre.
- As for Winchester Star’s bashing of Ralph Northam, in fact he did exactly the right thing by leaving prior to Trump’s speech, while in his own speech he correctly “called for a ‘full accounting’ of the history of enslavement and disenfranchisement that accompanied the democracy founded in Virginia“; also correctly stated, “We have to remember who it included and who it did not”; and more broadly “pointed to Virginia and America’s complex history of liberty and enslavement while standing in the Jamestown Island church.” What’s wrong with any of that, exactly? Apparently, in the far-right Winchester Star’s addled way of thinking, Northam should have spent all his time speaking not of slavery, shortcomings in our democracy, etc., but about how amazing/wonderful/perfect Virginia is. Or something. In sum, the Winchester Star would have preferred revisionist, whitewashed pseudo-history, a lot of “rah rah Virginia totally rocks,” and everyone to sit quietly – or preferably, chant “Trump! Trump! Trump!” as the Racist-in-Chief read prepared text from a teleprompter and tried as hard as he could not to lapse back into Trump rally-style rhetoric (“lock her up!” “send her back!”).
Anyway, I hereby nominate the Winchester Star as the worst editorial page in Virginia. Others (e.g., the Daily Progress and Roanoke Times) are bad as well, but the Winchester Star “wins,” IMHO, because it’s so consistently godawful.