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Ombudsman Part one of two 02/2013


  Once again, The Examiner is under criticism in the blogosphere and elsewhere for its editorial coverage of Bartlett politics: It is, therefore, appropriate to critically reevaluate the merit of the opinions recently published within these pages.

  Before we can ask our readers to render any judgments upon the comparative honesty of this publication and its detractors, we need to clarify a basic concept. Typical among our critics is their complaint that our editorials have no byline. An editorial, though, as defined by Merriam-Webster is “a newspaper or magazine article that gives the opinions of the editors or publishers.”

  Like the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and countless other newspapers readily available for comparison, The Examiner does not attribute its editorials to individual staff members. Rather, it publishes such opinions with the word “Editorial” in a 48-point, boldface font at the very top precisely so that there is no confusion. Thus, our critics’ common insinuation that our editorials are sinister because they are “anonymous” is preposterous on its face. The publisher’s name, address, phone number, and email appear in a Page 4 box in every edition of every issue we print. Unlike the Internet snipers, nobody here is hiding.

  Others, such as candidate Patricia Ryerson Kelly, who do reveal themselves, have easily surmisable motives to attack us. Ryerson Kelly, Mike Airdo’s handpicked successor, apparently wants to keep political power within the clutches of the cabal responsible for the foul political climate in town since Mike Kelly’s ouster. So, when she posts her Facebook letter decrying a “mystery author,” but then turns around and mails a letter directed to our publisher, by name, it’s obvious she understands the definition of “editorial” when she so chooses. What’s less obvious is her ability to be honest about it.

  Which seems common among her associates. Take Linda Hanson, who wrote that our editorial couldn’t be written by “a reputable journalist or they would have included a byline and been able to support their printed material.” Putting aside Hanson’s ignorance or intentional obfuscation of what an editorial is, ours did, in fact, support its opinions with embedded references to source material available to anyone with an Internet connection.

  But, what’s Hanson’s connection? She’s Facebook friends (a relative?) with Patti Hanson, the same politician who unsuccessfully tried to throw Ed Novak off of the Bartlett Public Library District ballot. The same politician who is close friends with Ryerson Kelly, who was right there to feast upon the bones of Mike Kelly when her sponsor, Mike Airdo, seized power. So, when Linda Hanson writes that our meticulously researched journalism “likens back to go the good old day of Chicago politics” and calls our opinions “smut that neighbors can enjoy,” she seems to know whereof she speaks. And when she asserts that our staff writes with “lies and an evil heart,” her hysteria suggests that discussing the facts, easily found in the public record, hold little interest for her when she is advocating to her political cronies.

  In one respect, however, we must agree with Ryerson Kelly. She wrote to our apparently locatable publisher that “Our residents deserve better. We deserve a real newspaper.”  To be continued next week… February 27, 2013

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