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« Gravedancing | Main | Hoggard's list »

Oct 23, 2007


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Joe Killian

It's not just the opinion section.

I've gotten plenty of letters from readers assuming that some cabal of liberal editors or editors with a specific agenda were reading over my shoulder, adding and deleting things based on their interests, telling me what I can and can't write.

It's depressing to think people have this little knowledge of how a newspaper works, sure -- but it's also baffling to think anyone thinks you'd stand for that, were it to happen.

Ed Cone

I get copy-edited (spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc.) by the excellent and patient Dennis Shelton.

Elma Sabo sometimes asks me to clarify a statement, and is always willing to discuss ideas with me. I value that relationship highly.

But nobody ever inserts words or ideas or agendas in my columns.

I assume Allen Johnson reads the column before it lands in his driveway on Sunday morning, but I have no direct indications of that.

The only pushback I've ever gotten from the publisher was on a column about the ill-health of the newspaper industry. I guess he was nervous about undirected coverage of his personal fiefdom. The column ran verbatim.

I've got great professional relationships with people I like and respect. I never feel that I'm working without a net, and I write with an implicit sense of responsibility and cultural norms, but in terms of content, my column is all me, for better or worse.

Joe Wilson

After knowing and reading Mr Cone for over 15 years I can say his journalistic integrity and independence are above reproach. It is some of his ideas and beliefs I sometimes struggle with.

Just pulling your tail bro,tell anon I said"aww go chase yourself".

David Hoggard

No one at the N&R has ever said a single word about my subject matter as long as I stay within the rules, but Allen obviously reads my columns before they hit his driveway...

Do you have one their policy manuals, Ed?



Exhaustive and exhausting. Truer words were never spoken. Do you think that this is Jerry's way of staying relevant in the journalist world? I know authors are sometimes only as good as their latest hit book and he hasnt had any in awhile. My personal opinion is that there were problems in the department and that Wray needed to go. I mean is locking Wray out of his office any more of a kick in the gut than the thousands of employees that go to work each day and find out the company is closing or they are being laid off. There was a story to be told by Wray and I think we ALL agree that he was unfairly painted as a racist. Let's hoist "Wray is not a racist" banners and billboards all around town. Would that help us move on? I guess I am not sure anymore where this will all end. Will the resignation or firing of Mitch Johnson truly satisfy them or will it only embolden them? I think the latter will be true. Bottom line when will enough be enough??

Jim Saintsing

What "shot" at Bledsoe's series? Since the 40th installment, it really does have more chapters than the Nibelungenlied. In NASCAR terms, the N-lied is down 3 points in the Grail standings. I don't think it can have much hope of catching up.

Ed Cone

Jim, I actually did a chapter count on the Nibelungenlied before making my comparison, which was (I thought) humorous as well as factual.

Hoggard, many years ago I wanted to endorse a candidate and ran into the same policy. I don't regard that as a constraint on my opinioneering freedom, and I'm confident that the editors would at least hear me out if I plead a special case to them. Not saying they would bend the rule, just that it's a very healthy and collegial relationship. The rule was communicated to me verbally, I'm unaware of any written rules.

Back when JR was opinion editor he once removed the word "peckerwood" from a column, I think because he is not from here and didn't understand it in context. While unnecessary, that decision fell under the "responsibility and cultural norms" proviso I mentioned and didn't change the meaning of the column. Someone (don't know who) once changed a "damn" to a "darn" which bugged me because I would not say "darn" in a non-ironic way, and also because it was never an issue before or since. And a fill-in once chopped my lede for space. That's the sum total of editorial static I've received in 11 years.

I think that last stat matters: I've been doing this a long time, and I hope I've earned some trust at their end.

Jim Saintsing

OK, I figured you were on top of the Valkyries. I think you've also suggested a title for the eventual book(s)-length version of the saga: "True Granularity."

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