Published 9/19; promoted from Diaries 9/20 - DM
Today the Cleveland Plain Dealer announced the resignation of Connie Schultz, wife of Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH). Schultz had come under fire recently for attending a Tea Party rally near Cleveland at which her husband's likely opponent in 2012, Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, was a featured speaker. Schultz was spotted videotaping Mandel's speech, but she conspicuously neglected to mention in her article that Mandel was even at the rally. (Read the details in my previous diary).
Once news about Schultz's covert-op became known, the Pulitzer prize winning journalist and 18-year veteran of the Plain Dealer issued a breathless apology, claiming that she never thought for a minute she was doing anything wrong and just "felt sick about it" and had learned her lesson.
Of course, the real issue was whether or not she was engaging in campaign activities at the behest of or on the tab of the Plain Dealer, the largest newspaper in Ohio. If so, this would be this would be too obvious even for the mainstream media. They still like to maintain the appearance of impartiality.
And so we have Ms. Schultz's resignation:
"In recent weeks, it has become painfully clear that my independence, professionally and personally, is possible only if I'm no longer writing for the newspaper that covers my husband's senate race on a daily basis. It's time for me to move on."
This begs a couple questions:
- It took four years into her husband's term to realize she is not an unbiased columnist when her husband is a sitting senator?
- Has this still not become "painfully clear" to the executives and editorial board of the Plain Dealer? Why did they let this go on for four years?
I would also like to know who else on the Plain Dealer staff is conducting campaign activities while being paid by the Plain Dealer. If they are conducting research for campaigns while they are preforming their duties as reporters/columnists/etc., it needs to be listed as "in kind" donations on campaign finance reports. Perhaps Secretary of State Jon Husted should start asking some questions and poking around in Sherrod Brown's campaign finance reports.
UPDATE: The Plain Dealer added some commentary to Schultz's resignation letter at 3:32 PM:
"Schultz had written for the newspaper for nearly 18 years. She is married to Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, who will seek re-election to the U.S. Senate next year. Conservatives have criticized Schultz and The Plain Dealer, saying that she used her column to support her husband's political career.
Both Schultz and the leadership of the newspaper have maintained that her words are her own, and pointed out that she began writing about workers' rights and other liberal causes long before she married Brown in 2004.
Schultz took a leave of absence in 2006 when Brown first ran for the Senate."
Her editor, Debra Adams Simmons added:
"Her steadfast commitment to social and economic justice, her advocacy on behalf of women and her courageous efforts to speak truth to power highlight a distinguished career. Although Connie is moving on, hers will continue to be an important voice for the region."
Note how many liberal buzz words and phrases the editor from the Plain Dealer managed to pack into one sentence: "social and economic justice," "advocacy on behalf of women," and "speak truth to power."
Tells you all you need to know about the editorial perspective of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.