A Dim “Light for All”

Following up on Kenny’s post below, he is right to flay the Baltimore Sun for its blatantly hypocritical and vacuous editorial. Although, I believe, on principle, the lawsuit was a bad idea the Sun’s editorial however, reveals that at Calvert and Centre streets, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Real estate mogul Sam Zell recently gained controlling interest in the Sun’s parent, the Tribune Company. This resulted in yet another shakeup at the Sun. Late last month Sun publisher and CEO Tim Ryan announced that the editorial pages would be placed under the purview of editor Tim Franklin, who will select a new editorial page editor directly responsible to him. This means that at the wall between news and opinion, at the Sun, is officially, dismantled.

The reorganization led to the resignation of editorial page editor Diane Donovan. I’m no fan of Donovan, she is responsible for many of the vapid, overtly partisan (carrying water for O’Malley), and intellectually dishonest Sun editorials over the last six years. Donovan’s deputy William Englund accepted a buyout and will leave on January 25. Today’s editorial no doubt bears Englund’s and Donovan’s influence.

The question is, what will the cross pollination of news and editorial bring at the Sun? Today’s editorial should answer that question, not much.

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The Sun’s imperative remains: toe the party line.

On a related note, I am eagerly awaiting the final season of The Wire and David Simon’s take on the media and the Sun in particular. Mark Bowden however, offers a word of caution that:

“Simon’s Baltimore is a richly imagined caricature of its real-life counterpart, not a carbon copy. And precisely because the Baltimore in The Wire seems so real, down to the finest details, the show constitutes an interesting study in the difference between journalism and fiction.”

The whole piece is worth a read, especially for the inside baseball info Bowden offers. Warning: Bowden is not overly sympathetic to Simon and reveals the flaws inherent in what is nevertheless one of the best shows on television.

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