Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Daily Democrat lifts yet another opinion piece.

Jim Smith is the editor of Woodland's own Daily Democrat. Jim does a good job with his paper, but one thing that makes me a little hot under the collar is the continued practice of lifting entire portions of an opinion piece from another newspaper without referencing the fact that someone else wrote it. Take today's piece from the Democrat's opinion page.

It's ironic that the final nudge to bring race to the surface in this historic Democratic face-off was not innuendo from Republicans or the Clinton campaign but the fiery rhetoric of Barack Obama's own longtime pastor. Obama rose to the challenge Tuesday with a stirring speech, condemning racism without condemning individuals, and calling upon Americans of all races to rise above divisions of the past.

What could have been a political cataclysm was transformed into another opportunity for the first serious black presidential contender to show how he can bridge divides.

We in Yolo County - where there's a schism between Latinos and whites, albeit a small one - can learn from Obama.

It started when the Rev. Jeremiah Wright became a YouTube phenomenon with his rants condemning America and invoking racism - a dream come true for some of Obama's detractors, who had struggled with how to bring race front and center without themselves seeming racist.


Here is the opinion piece from yesterday's Mercury News

It's ironic that the final nudge to bring race to the surface in this historic Democratic face-off was not innuendo from Republicans or the Clinton campaign but the fiery rhetoric of Barack Obama's own longtime pastor.

Perhaps it's just as well. Obama rose to the challenge Tuesday with a stirring speech, condemning racism without condemning individuals, and calling upon Americans of all races to rise above the divisions of the past.

What could have been a political cataclysm was transformed into another opportunity for the first serious black presidential contender to show how he can bridge divides. One speech may not do it, but the address in Philadelphia was a very good start.

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright became a YouTube phenomenon with his rants condemning America and invoking racism - a dream come true for some of Obama's detractors, who had struggled with how to bring race front and center without themselves seeming racist. The pastor may yet prove to be Obama's undoing as a candidate.

Notice any similarly in the two?

If you read the closing paragraph in both editorials, it doesn't matter which one, they are the same, you get to this line.
If Obama is, as we hope, the leader who can draw people across political divides to create real change and a renewed optimism in America, then confronting race head-on was inevitable. Perhaps Pastor Wright did us all a favor.
Just who the heck is we Jim? If we is the Daily Democrat, that should tell it's readers all they need to know.

As for Obama's speech, it was flowery, well delivered, whenever he is in front a teleprompter or reading a prepared statement he is very good, but in the end what do we know about Senator Obama and his Pastor, friend, spiritual advisor and one time member of his campaign? Not much.

Wright's 'fiery' comments don't seem to bother many of the hand picked crowd who listened to Obama's speech. It seems if you hate the right people, whites and Jews, you can be forgiven easily, after all, the US of KKK is the reason black people are stuck in poverty, right?

Obama said "I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community," Ok, so you don't like what this guy said, but you can't break your ties from him and his church? After all, he is the Pastor who officiated your wedding, baptized your children, was on your payroll and from whom you took the title of your book.

The argument that everyone would stay in a church where this kind of hate is preached is insulting to me.

If my Pastor said any of these things, I would get up in the middle of his sermon and walk out, then I would wait at his car in the parking lot and we would have a 'fiery' discussion about keeping your hate filled, politically motivated speech out of the Lord's house. If he were not removed immediately, I would never set foot in that church again. Hey but that just me, I'm intolerant of hate speech.

So either Obama isn't serious about 'moving beyond race' or he was using Wright's church as a political tool to garner favor and political power in Chicago as an up and coming politician, or he doesn't really see anything that wrong with his spiritual advisor's teachings.

One or the other, or both.

1 comment:

Jake said...

From associate editor Jake Dorsey:

The opinion piece you refer to, from the San Jose Mercury News, was indeed copied. The Merc is a MediaNews Group paper; MNG is the parent company that owns the Democrat.

Newspapers, especially those within the same company, share editorials this way often; however, they are usually rewritten to some degree and are always meant to be credited to the original paper.

I will run a clarification on this issue in the March 29 edition of the paper and correctly attribute the San Jose Mercury News. Thank you for posting about this. The staff of the Democrat always appreciates readers keeping us honest.

Jake Dorsey
Associate editor, Daily Democrat
(530) 406-6231