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« Vaughan goes statewide | Main | Reign of error »

May 03, 2012


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Billy Jones



The whole idea of an opinion published by an unidentified board is behind the times anyway. Nonetheless, who is on the "board?"

David Hoggard

Agreed. Pathetic.

With Johnson and Clark both on record in the "vote no" column, the only explanation one can infer is Saul's influence to neuter my daily with a non-opinion.

Hopefully Saul keeps up with goings on here because I need him to know that cowardice is not a quality I cotton to in either men or institutions.

Pitiful and pathetic.


No need to infer (or deduce), there are three people on the editorial board, Allen Johnson, Doug Clark and Robin Saul. Clark and Johnson have publicly expressed their opposition to the amendment already.

Billy Jones

So much for the argument that the N&R is a liberal rag.

Account Deleted

Until someone states who is on the editorial board, here is a bit of insight:

Who writes the staff editorials?
The editorials represent the official position of the newspaper's editorial board with input from our publisher, Robin Saul; they are not the sentiment of any one individual. Hence, they aren't signed. These editorials can be found on the left-hand side of the Opinion page. Editorial writers Allen Johnson, Doug Clark, Kenneth Irons and Betsi Robinson meet daily at 9:30 a.m. to discuss the news of the day, what we should write about and what our editorials should say.

Andrew Brod

This is disgraceful. It has nothing to do with how the paper would have editorialized, pro or con. It's the abdication of its erstwhile public role that's galling.

As has been noted, here and at Romenesko, the N&R could have discussed the nature of its internal disagreement, whether via pro-and-con editorials or a forum of differing opinions. That it chose instead to punt is shameful.


Jeff, that was written a long time ago. I believe Ken Irons has retired, and I know Betsi Robinson returned to the newsroom well before I left, which was three years ago and counting. If the box at the top of page A10 in today's print edition is accurate, then Roch is correct: The board these days is Allen, Doug and the publisher.

So if the board "couldn't reach consensus," it's obvious why. And for Robin to put Allen Johnson in this position -- making Allen speak for the publisher and thus take the heat for the publisher's moral cowardice and prevarication -- is beneath contempt.

Account Deleted

I figured as much Lex, but I thought we would work form the outside in until someone clarified.

Triad Conservative

The big story, which has not yet been reported, might turn out to be the unexpectedly high percentage of Democrats voting in favor of the amendment. If the pro-amendment side wins, this would theoretically provide the margin of victory.

I think the N&R would be very wise to stay out of this one. It has a readership well beyond Greensboro. It would severely alienate large groups of readers if it editorialized in opposition on an issue that many pro-amendment folks regard as very important. It would open the eyes of large numbers of readers that the paper fundamentally did not share their values.


What everyone else said.


Jeff, Allen Johnson confirmed: Him, Clark and Saul.


joe, the role of a newspaper is not to kowtow to its constituents; that's the role of the internet.

Ed Cone

I'd guess N&R subscribers are divided on the issue, although I wouldn't be surprised to learn that a substantial percentage or even a majority oppose the amendment. Certainly the letters to the editor have trended strongly against the amendment. I wouldn't be surprised if Saul's stance resulted in economic damage to the brand.

But in any case, principled stands and reasoned arguments are not decided by a focus group.


As usual, The Evil Dr. Guarino's opinion is ridiculous. Reasonable people have biases and agendas and expect the same of others. We may not agree with someone's opinion, but respect it, so long as it is presented in good faith. However, when people stoop to trickery in order to impose their opinion on the rest of us through the legislature, hackles get raised and rightfully so. Such is the case with Amendment One. There are many reasons why a particular person may support, oppose or not understand the consequences. The job of the N&R is to help us find our way and they have a responsibility to take a position and defend it. Typically, Guarino reduces the process to binary partisanship and takes a swipe at the left by claiming some will support the amendment. His supposition is nothing more than that and certainly not some big story which has been missed. He thinks he knows, given the positions of Johnson and Clark, what the editorial stance would be and therefore cooks up a cowardly reason for them not to do so.

Guarino fails to understand, because he is incapable of it himself, that some of the N&R's readers may not agree with their position, but so long as the reasoning is explained they will respect it.


I think the N&R would be very wise to stay out of this one. It has a readership well beyond Greensboro.

Not a very big one, Joe (as a percentage of print subscribers and single-copy purchasers), even when I was still there.

Andrew Brod

Re Guarino: If one believes that the media's role is always to be a cheerleader, liberal or otherwise, then one can only interpret media actions through that lens.

Or rather, through those blinders.


Joe knows "people." The N&R would be wise to hire him as a gumshoe, Columbo-style reporter. His connections reach far and wide. Too bad he got that sweet gig with The Greensboro Guardian. Davenport's gain = Saul's loss. Guarino FTW!

Joe Guarino


Check it out.

Triad Conservative

"A survey of partisan primary voters shows the amendment winning among Democrats by a slim 48-to-44 percent margin and among Republicans by a 78-to-15 percent margin. The largest supporters of the amendment among Democratic voters are black voters (38 percent of the sample), who support the amendment by a 2-to-1 margin — 63 to 30 percent. Self-identified conservative Democrats (23 percent of the sample) support the amendment by an 82-to-13 percent margin."


This is a new twist - if the N&R doesn't publish an editorial against A1 they will suffer economic damages. That sounds almost like a threat. I wonder if their stance on something big like the Iraq war hurt them.

Ed you look very desperate here. Another horror trotted out because of A1. I'm sure the N&R and its bigoted, right-wing, Christian fundamentalist publisher Robin Saul will give in to the pressure you put on them any day now.


I think the Far Left are finally coming around to the idea that the MAJORITY of NC citizens are in favor of the amendment, there will be a lot more howling and gnashing of teeth from said same Parasites.

Ed Cone

There are multiple conversations happening here at the same time.

The amendment polled strongly from the start, and Democratic support has always been a major problem for opponents. Fighting it has always been a steep uphill slog. The gap has narrowed as people learned more about it, but it will probably pass anyway. These are plain and widely-known facts.

The editorial voice of the paper is another subject. Ideally, that voice speaks truth to power, comforts the afflicted, etc. -- more Bill of Rights in spirit than "majority rules."

And there is the specific situation at the N&R, once a leading paper in the South, which can't even manage to speak its editorial voice on the biggest issue of the day. That is odd enough to merit coverage from a leading national press critic.

So that's three distinct subjects, which I'm sure we will now keep separate and discuss in a clear and orderly fashion.

sean coon

I'll be the first to say that I don't think the n&r's stance on A1 would make a difference in the actual voting, one way or the other, but in terms of a newspaper presenting an editorial that goes beyond the emotion and morality plays to present the issue from a better researched and more thought out position, well, they've failed miserably at their job and role in modern day society.

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