It’s August 24, the day that the Wheeling Intelligencer was founded in 1852. Of course, the anniversary is an excuse for an editorial telling us what a great job they are doing in serving their readers. In a long lifetime of personal and professional media observation, I have never seen a media entity praise itself to the extent that Ogden newspapers do. (Even Fox News, which gives Ogden competition in the self-promotion category, has dropped its “fair and balanced” tagline.) To that end, today's editorial, "The Intelligencer Firm in Our Ideals," is a rewrite of previous August 24th self-praising editorials.
For instance, like its predecessors, it references the paper's founding philosophy:
”All that the people require in order to arrive at proper conclusions is light and information.”
And this editorial, like the previous editorials praises their news coverage (emphasis is mine):
We believe that fundamentally, journalism is not a craft that should be affected by prevailing winds of social, political or economic change. Unbiased, accurate coverage of the news, with reporting not slanted to promote any agenda but the truth, remains the key.
And their praise for their editorial page is even more sanctimonious and untrue:
In addition to informing our readers, we recognize a responsibility to provide leadership through editorials and commentary. We owe no allegiance to any faction, special interest, political party or individual politician. Our loyalty is to you as residents of our area, our states and our nation.
I find the parts above that I’ve placed in bold to be especially troubling because I believe the editorial writer, like previous August 24th writers, knows this is crap. (“Unbiased,” “accurate,” “no allegiances” – yeah, right.) They get away with it because they have no competition and because they know how to appeal to their reader’s confirmation biases and more basic instincts. (For examples, look at the endless stream of evidence-free “Obama is out to get us” editorials in the past eight years.)
"All that the people require in order to arrive at proper conclusions is light and information." Sadly, the Intelligencer provides neither.
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