Despite Ogden’s promise to keep or enlarge the paper, this section (formerly the opinion section) has cut back on opinion and added more “news” reports. The editorial page still features its right-wing syndicated columnists – in this case, Pat Buchanan and Kathleen Parker, but that is a reduction from the usual four or five that were usually published on Sundays. (Hey, where is Michele Malkin’s weekly nativist screed?) Additionally, there is a Mike Myer column (now just one for the weekend), an op-ed, two political cartoons, and a page-and-a-half of letters to the editor. The rest of the section consists of local PR releases, news from other Ogden papers, and a full page on “money and markets.”
Mike Myer keeping his promise on his coronavirus coverage
Our local editor continues his earlier pledge to write no criticism of the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus by telling us:
Let’s Not Be Surprised Again by an Epidemic
The premise is, of course, that we were surprised and thus unprepared to handle the pandemic. There is no mention in the article of the Obama administration’s playbook to handle a new pandemic. As the medical news source, Stat and other major news outlets have described, the report was ignored, agencies were dismantled, and the administration was totally unprepared for what would follow:
Over the course of the Obama presidency, a pandemic infrastructure was put in place. It included recommendations for a top-level White House official devoted to planning and responding to emerging infectious threats and, to guide that person’s work, the “Playbook for early response to high-consequence emerging infectious disease threats and biological incidents.”
And then on Jan. 21, 2017, Donald Trump became president.
Beginning the morning after his inauguration, a spectacular science-related tragedy has unfolded. The Trump administration has systematically dismantled the executive branch’s science infrastructure and rejected the role of science to inform policy, essentially reversing both Republican and Democrat presidential administrations since World War II, when Vannevar Bush, an engineer, advised Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman.
President Trump’s pursuit of anti-science policy has been so effective that as the first cases of Covid-19 were breaking out in Wuhan, China, no meaningful science policy infrastructure was in place to advise him. As a consequence, America is suffering from a pandemic without a plan.
Amazingly, Myer gives us over 500 words without once mentioning the word “Trump.”
WV Republican Party chairman attacks Democrats and voting-by-mail
The "Commentary" page of the section features an op-ed by Melody Potter, chairman of the WV Republican Party, attacking Democrats and the proposal to increase voting by mail in the general election. In the column, Potter argues that because the coronavirus "will cease to exist in the days to come,"lawmakers "should not seize on this crisis to ram through a wish list of left wing fantasies." Cease to exist? Other than the president, who believes that? And what are the "left wing fantasies"? Apparently, they are about voting by mail and then stealing the election through voter fraud. Potter offers little proof for her claim and every fact checker I've seen concludes that there has been very little voter fraud connected with voting by mail. (See "More False Mail-In Ballot Claims from Trump" at FactCheck.org, for example.)
Little fraud, but even as Trump admits, it will help the Democrats and Republicans should oppose it:
By the way, the Patrick Henry quote pictured above is pinned to the top of Potter's Facebook page. It struck me as an odd quote from Henry because there were likely no alternatives in Henry's era -- obviously, no internet and while there was some mail during the colonial period, the U.S. Postal Service was not begun until 1792. I searched and could not find the quote let alone that it was attributed to Patrick Henry. And Potter is worried about voter fraud.
Our local Ogden papers continue to target Michigan's Governor Whitmer
The two political cartoons in this morning's paper both attack the Democratic governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer. That makes at least five anti-Whitmer cartoons in our local Ogden papers in the last two months. Add to that list at least two Mike Myer columns that single her out for criticism among Democratic governors. She's not alone: from earlier in the year, toss in the Democratic congressional women who are not afraid to speak out and of course, don't forget the Hillary Clinton years when the anti-Hillary columns, cartoons, and editorial were a near-daily feature. I know our local papers don't like Democrats, but they seem to have a special dislike for Democratic women.