I called the editor of the crusading, local newsweekly, the Vieux Carre Courier, and offered to give him a copy. He was thrilled. Then my father got wind of the offer. He told me not to do it. So I didn't.
Sorry dad, but I wish I had. It's important for people to know what's going on at the institutions they depend on to know what's going on. That's why we're including this week a series of E-mails to and from The News & Observer (where I used to work) and members of its community panel. They're not meant to embarrass anyone, particularly not Lorenzo Perez, a good reporter who drew the short straw on a dreadful 8 a.m. assignment and used it as an opportunity to do some writing with voice and attitude that's difficult to get in the newspaper.
They're meant to point out that The News & Observer, like virtually every other daily newspaper and television news operation in America, failed to emphasize the real story behind the invasion of Iraq (as Project Censored found), and did not take criticism to heart when confronted with it. It's a tragedy for so many reasons--first and foremost because if articles leading up to the war had been placed in the proper perspective, Americans might have realized that Iraq had nothing to do with Sept. 11 and everything to do with a radical turn in foreign policy. And it's a shame for otherwise good newspapers with the journalistic pretensions of The N&O, because if they'd broken from the pack and applied the same critical eye they use on local and regional news, they'd look like heroes today.
Instead, the war is a story that, years from now, many editors will wish they could have back.
With this issue, Kirk Ross becomes The Independent's managing editor. Readers in Chapel Hill will know Kirk from his six years as a reporter at The Chapel Hill News. Music fans in the Triangle will know him from his killer guitar playing for the past 11 years in the band Lud. At the Indy, Kirk will be in charge of music coverage, special sections, and whatever else he comes up with. It's great to have him aboard.