When it comes to reporting and editorializing on Virginia politics, it’s amazing what a contrast in quality there is between the mega-billionaire-Bezos-owned Washington Post (which, despite its vast resources, does a horrendous job of covering Virginia, such as whitewashing Youngkin during the 2021 campaign, barely even mentioning the Republicans’ extremist LG and AG candidates, etc.) and the student-run-on-a-relative-shoestring Cavalier Daily (which, despite its tiny size compared to the WaPo, does a far better job of digging for stories, writing about them with clarity, and calling things what they actually are).
The latest examples of the great job being done by the Cavalier Daily’s student journalists include: Ellis at center of controversy over eugenicist speaker while at U.Va., archives show (“Though Ellis’ appointment to the Board has been controversial, his time at U.Va. appears to have been as well”); EDITORIAL: Youngkin, this was the wrong call (“Youngkin’s appointment only confirms what he has already demonstrated so far through his governorship — a blatant disregard for the University’s core values.”); and now EDITORIAL: Get your facts straight Mr. Youngkin (“Governor Glenn Youngkin, start doing your job”).
Definitely read the entire editorial, “Get your facts straight Mr. Youngkin” – it’s superb. Meanwhile, here are a few highlights (bolding added by me for emphasis):
- “Unfortunately, it has become increasingly evident that Governor Glenn Youngkin is not committed to the same fact-finding mission. Youngkin has proven himself to be an utterly incompetent leader by failing to genuinely address criticisms we have raised, instead choosing to disparage student journalism by spreading outright falsehoods about our paper.”
- “The governor attempted to discredit the news story [about his UVA Board of Visitors appointee Bert Ellis and eugenics] — which he admitted he had not even read — by deflecting, saying it was published by ‘the same newspaper that wants to remove Thomas Jefferson in all regards from the University of Virginia.’ It is worth noting Youngkin’s latter comment is simply false.”
- “Youngkin has placed himself in a tough position — either he knew about Ellis’ lack of judgment and chose to appoint him anyway, or he had no idea, suggesting that he does not properly vet his nominees. Nonetheless, neither case permits him to attack students with lies in order to shield himself from the consequences of his own poor decision-making.”
- Youngkin “cannot adequately contend with genuine criticism. Mr. Youngkin, let us be perfectly clear — we will not be your political scapegoat. Our reporting speaks for itself, and we will not allow your efforts at a smear campaign to go unchecked.”
- “Simply put, we are tired of Youngkin’s lack of leadership and find his politicization of higher education dangerous. If Youngkin were a competent leader, he would respond to our criticisms with sound reasoning and solid explanations — instead, we get hollow platitudes. Rather than belittling student journalists, maybe the governor should brush up on the history of eugenics. Instead of mulling over a run for the presidency, maybe the governor should spend more time vetting his nominees. Virginians deserve better. Students at the University deserve better. This Editorial Board demands better. The governor must stop fearmongering and start finding time to actually do his job.”
Brilliant. Now, if only the corporate media – starting with Jeff Bezos’ Washington Post – could (or would) write like this.
P.S. On a related note, see below for a statement by the UVA Democrats, calling on Youngkin’s appointee, Bert Ellis, to resign from the UVA Board of Visitors or be removed by Youngkin.