Sunday, December 27, 2009

Careful Reference

I usually try to avoid commenting on Blade editorials these days, as their voice becomes increasingly more irrelevant over time. In spite of the fact that I have no ties to the Republican Party, I could not however, let pass without comment the editorial today "Dissension in GOP". It is right and proper that the local daily newspaper should comment on the current internal struggles of the GOP in its responsibilities to inform and educate the public. This conflict of leadership will have a great effect on the local Republican party for the coming years, in spite of the fact that the GOP seems to have had little effect on local politics. I was taken however, as someone who often tries to use words to advantage, to read this quote: "Images of Hitler's Brown Shirts breaking up Communist political meetings in pre-World War II Germany dance in our heads." 

Could any historical reference be more inflammatory than to include both the Nazi party and Communists when speaking of the Republican Party in Lucas County? While we know that such acts did occur in pre-World War II Germany, is this not the very type of language that the Blade and other media outlets have long decried in the debate of partisan politics? Is this kind of editorial rabble-rousing both unworthy of a major metropolitan newspaper and insulting to its readership? 

Of course, the Blade goes on to point out that those allegedly behind this apparent party coup have ties to Tom Noe in order to cast further aspersions on their efforts. The Blade has found it difficult to write a story about the Republican party without referencing this rather sordid part of the party's past however, and we expect little more of them (though similar references to Democratic faux pas seem glaringly absent)

It was a surprise however, to find a purported connection between federal legislation of health care and the benefits provided to a state worker, since one seems to have little to do with the other, and both parties will continue to benefit from lavish government employee health and retirement programs. It is likewise of little surprise to find that the Blade fails to point to its own relationship to the players in this game; as Jon Stainbrook, whose reign may have now come to an end, is a long-time friend of John Robinson Block the publisher and editor-in-chief of the newspaper. 

Would it not be of interest to the readers to know that such a relationship exists in the spirit of full faith and disclosure? It might also be worthwhile to know that Mr. Block runs his local newspaper here in Toledo from his offices in Pittsburgh, where one of their other media properties the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has its home. It might further be worthy of note that the Blade and Mr. Block have been long supporters of the Democratic party in Lucas County, and that only the election of his friend Jon Stainbrook has caused him to shine any form of a more neutral light on the GOP. Would it then be fair to say that Mr. Block attempts to run a "shadow empire" and acts as an "absentee landlord" with regard to his properties and their impact on Toledo and Lucas County? Could we then add that perhaps editorials like this one are little more that rhetoric aimed at maintaining control of an area that he considers little more than lebensraum, subject to his whim and to his controlling influence on the debate? Would it be fair to characterize Mr. Block as a foreign influence, attempting to impose his will on the readership of the Blade? 

 You see, one always needs to careful when using words and historical references, for such language can often be considered inflammatory or a misrepresentation of the facts; and their use often subject therefore, to misinterpretation.


Roland Hansen said...

I would say that the upper echelon at The Blade sucks; but, that would not be nice, so I won't say it.

Ooops, did I write it? Oh, well I did not state that I would not write it.

Tim Higgins said...


You "non-response response" is duly noted.