I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
On a positive note, Quigley shines as health care reform scribe
An example was the Journal’s top story August 18, Winthrop Quigley’s informed account of what U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman told the daily’s editorial board about the Senate Finance Committee’s progress toward a health care reform that would cut the deficit.
And the headline writer even got that right.
The Journal’s health business reporter, Quigley always shines in analyses, but recently he’s raised his game. Consider this from his UpFront column same day, same page:
It isn’t that Obama is trying to accomplish too much. A huge uninsured population is economic and moral poison. The quality of American health care is in some ways awful. Commercial insurance is at the heart of, even when it is not the author of, some truly abominable outcomes, including the death by indifference of inadequately insured people.
That’s exemplary not only for content and context but — given Quigley’s pro-business assumptions — as a lesson in fairness.
Also noteworthy was Quigley’s Money & Medicine” column in Business Outlook August 10, an argument that Americans should seek a reform reflecting their values even while recognizing it won’t be perfect. And he dealt diligently with the “disparity of care” issue Sunday, August 16.
Plaudits, too, to the Journal’s ongoing series of factual answers to “Your Health Care Questions,” usually found near the Op-Eds.
Turning to the newspaper’s UpFront columns, I winced when Leslie Linthicum pointed out (Sunday, Aug. 9) it’s been a year since the Journal invented that feature.
A year? Time flies, I thought, when you’re getting ancient.
Once past my narcissism, I recall that her UpFront columns (as well as those by Joline Gutierrez Krueger, Thomas Cole and others) have been readable and enlightening. Kudos.
Understand, please, that I am not going soft on Journal management. Despite some hints to the contrary, the paper still leans heavily on the Associated Press’s compromised Washington Bureau for national news rather than use professional material available from the Los Angeles Times, McClatchy newspapers and Washington Post.
Because AP Washington allows its reporters to editorialize and a few promote the political Right in their accounts, the Journal’s editors deploy AP “stories” to import the paper’s editorial beliefs into the news pages; thus, the consistent poor mouthing of President Obama and the Democratic Party and total absence of skepticism about corporate America.
The Journal policy also encourages its reporters to expose the failures of government, locally and in Santa Fe — of which there’s a never-ending supply — but rarely probes how business preys on consumers.
In the Journal, the crimes and misdemeanors of national corporate enterprise usually rate a paragraph on the business page, so I was shocked — shocked, I tell you — to read a McClatchy story August 18, page A3, on how Enterprise Rent-A-Car chose to “delete” side air bags from Chevrolet Impalas it rented and later sold, thereby saving millions.
How’d that get published, I wondered, and so prominently. Was management on vacation?
Still, I come this week not to berate the Journal but to praise it. Or, more precisely, to put my adverse criticism in context by noting that good journalism sometimes happens there.
Sometimes at the behest of the newspaper’s honchos, sometimes despite them.