The front page
Easily the biggest article on the front page of today's Wheeling News-Register is the 700-word story (with picture) promoting Ogden’s Corporate Cup Challenge which is two months away. Not unlike the 1900 words on Ogden’s “Tough as Nails Urban Challenge” two weeks ago, the story has no news value – it’s all about promotion.
Old news gets recycled as current news
The front page also contains an article about the development agreement between the city of Wheeling and private developers. Except for noting that the agreement was formally signed sometime this past week, this is a rewrite of a March 20 article which also contained the details of the agreement. Even the two quotes in the article from Wheeling’s mayor are from the March 20 report. It’s a rewrite passed-off as news.
The opinion section
Syndicated columns substitute for Ogden editorials
Page B2’s columnists suggest how much our local Ogden papers miss Obama and Hillary. For example, one of Ogden’s favorite columnists, Michelle Malkin, uses some very tortured logic to somehow link Jesse Smollett with former president Obama. The editorial cartoon, “Captain Scandal,” targets Hillary Clinton even though she lost the election 29 months ago. Additionally, Jonah Goldberg continues the Ogden attacks on the New Green Deal. Finally, the editorial page features a Kathleen Parker column with the headline:
Demanding All White Men Apologize Alienates Many
Not unlike the approach of recent Ogden columnists, Parker’s column is mostly about concern trolling the Democratic Party. With it’s “straw man” argument that Democrats are demanding candidates apologize, it reminded me of old Ogden editorials.
"The Left’s Turn" to the rescue (not really)
Thank goodness, the Sunday edition gives space to liberal positions. Yeah, right. Perhaps so that they can claim that they are “fair and balanced,” the Sunday News-Register regularly features liberal and conservative opinions side-by-side with banners that read “The Left’s Turn” and “The Right’s Turn.” Page B4 of today’s paper includes those columns. On the right side is conservative columnist Adriana Cohen commenting on something important to conservatives and Trump supporters -- the Mueller investigation:
Fake News Now Exposed
This is balanced on the left side by a liberal column from Connie Schultz:
Adopt a Shelter Pet And You’ll Be Glad You Did
This supposed balance was the subject of one of my first blog posts five years ago:
At first glance, it would appear that the newspaper is actually looking to present ideas that are not necessarily part of the usual right-wing orthodoxy that dominates its editorial pages. Look more closely, however, and see that “the right’s turn” always deals with substantive issues while “the left’s turn” seldom, if ever, does. Instead, “the left’s turn” almost always covers trivial and mundane matters that can’t help suggesting to the casual reader that liberals have no serious thoughts or ideas. . . .
Are they stacking the deck? Of course, they are. There are plenty of liberal columnists who regularly author well-developed and thought-provoking articles; Paul Krugman, Ellen Goodman, and Leonard Pitts Jr. quickly come to mind. Of course, the News-Register is not interested in printing liberal ideas that are articulate and well-researched when they can print columns that are irrelevant or downright silly and then label them as “The Left’s Turn.” Hey, News-Register editors – if conservative ideas are so great, what are you afraid of?
Five years and nothing's changed.