Help Wanted?

From our Southern Bureau:

Thursday’s favorite headlines (“Now hiring: Copy Editor to write headlines; no experience necessary but must not be pro-Trump”?)

The Ledger (Lakeland FL):
“Trump urges calm even as CDC reports worrisome new virus case” 

This one could be in the running for one of my all time favorites. The Ledger is Lakeland Florida’s newspaper. It may not be the worst biased publication in this state, but it is pretty poor as a news source. It appears that, in regard to “Letters to the Editor” its policy is that it will not accept any letter criticizing the paper. Not surprising, especially for a liberal publication. (In the case of the Ledger, however, disposal of a letter of such a type is very nearly irresistible!.)

The headline above is typical of the paper’s dire need for a competent copy editor: This headline, of course, obviously begs the question, ‘should Trump urge ‘panic’ as soon as the CDC reports a new virus case…especially when the The Ledger finds such a case “worrisome”?

Then to reinforce its views of a sound approach to the current news cycle, the Ledger brings the focus to the inevitable ‘local’ level with this story’s headline:

Coronavirus: Florida officials express caution — not panic … yet 

Apparently, this paper is a firm believer in the value of “panic”. It undoubtedly also has its notion of the proper timing in which public officials should apply it.

And, apparently, that is at the earliest stage possible…all the better if sincere panic can be introduced even before the dimensions of a potential ‘crisis’ are known.
I want to note one last thing to illustrate the competence that rages at The Ledger.

Earlier this past week, its op-ed pages ran a column it attributed in its cutline to ‘Judd Grady’; there is a popular sheriff of Polk County (which includes Lakeland), widely known, even somewhat on a national basis (he has appeared more than once on Fox News in recent times, and is considered to hold some fairly doctrinaire right of center views).

If only because he is widely known and generally very popular in this part of Florida, his op-ed, I suspect, was widely read.

As I read it, however, I was at first surprised by the column’s tone. As I read further, I was rather shocked by the very distinct leftist flavor of the piece.

By the time I reached the end of the column, I was convinced that the writer had flipped, virtually ‘overnight’ from one who held longstanding views reflecting a mild to strongly-held conservative flavor, to a decidedly leftist outlook.

The fact the writer of the piece was identified as “Judd Grady”, I had earlier attributed to a slight. perhaps typographical, error on the part of the copy desk. The name of the sheriff to which it was obviously attributed is actually GRADY JUDD…not JUDD GRADY.

The cut below the column was attributed to the very liberal syndicated writer, Froma Harrop, whom Wikipedia describes as, “allegedly liberal / left-of-center”.

(As of Friday, I had seen no correction posted)

(Again, about that need for “Help Wanted” at the Ledger.)        dlh

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