Is this really a Wheeling “newspaper”?
Maybe it’s time to switch the quotation marks
Another day and two more irrelevant Ohio editorials for the readers of Ogden’s local West Virginia “newspapers”
The first of today's Wheeling Intelligencer editorials is about juvenile crime in Steubenville and Jefferson County, Ohio. Neither Wheeling nor West Virginia is mentioned in the editorial. (Steubenville is 29.4 miles from Wheeling.) The second wants us to “Improve Health of Women, Children.” An admirable goal except that the editorial, based upon rankings by the United Health Foundation, is only about improving the health care of Ohio women.
The editorial tells us that the foundation ranks Ohio 32nd in the nation (unchanged from last year). That ranking clearly suggests cause for concern. What about West Virginia? I checked the study and West Virginia is ranked 42nd (down two positions from last year and down four since Trump became president). If 32nd requires an editorial, shouldn’t 42nd? Sure, but that would mean that someone in West Virginia would have to write one. Why bother when you can simply republish an Ohio editorial from another Ogden newspaper?
By the way, the editorial mentions two of the causes for Ohio’s below-average ranking: high infant mortality rates and drug-related deaths. The editorial then links them to one of Ogden’s favorite scapegoats, Obamacare, claiming that we had been given “assurances that the Affordable Care Act would eradicate many of these challenges.” Obama promised to “eradicate” infant mortality and drug deaths? Really? (I believe the Ogden Editorial Manual mandates that the former president must be blamed as part of any editorial about health care or coal.)
Time for a “scare quotes” policy change?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary tells us that scare quotes express “skepticism or derision concerning the use of the enclosed word or phrase.” Since I began this blog in 2014, I’ve most frequently used them when referring to our local papers (as in Wheeling “newspapers”). Perhaps it’s time to put them around “Wheeling” to express my skepticism that the newspapers are really about Wheeling.