School days, school days, Dear old Golden Rule days

The Rant D’Jour is the WEEKENDER column this week. It should have gone up yesterday but I was dealing with issues of mortality. Or something.

I used to have
problems writing in any kind of noise. It’s still a little difficult. But the other day I was on deadline with…more


Blog Post for Thursday 3/3/11 – 12 degrees at 6:17 AM – This winter is over. Ha!

The way it was

School Work Thursday

Today’s assignment was to read and react to an editorial.

I chose this one:

Ciavarella, defenders should own up to what’s been done- Richard L. Connor opinion

Richard L. Conner as publisher of the Times-Leader clearly has the final say in what he writes. It’s doubtful that any editor would red pencil his work, particularly an editorial such as “Ciavarella, defenders should own up to what’s been done.”

The editorial is long on his opinion and perspective and probably a little short on actual reporting. Clearly Mr. Conner is outraged and he takes every opportunity to call out the judge, comparing him to “milfoil”, which I had to look up. It’s an aquatic plant that chokes water ways. He stops short of name calling. He does say that the judge and his “cronies made all of us feel bad and slime-covered.”

I chose this editorial because I agree with Mr. Conner. The Ciavarella case has monopolized headlines, TV news broadcasts, taken up hours of the legal system’s time and should be put to bed.

Conner does some reporting on the case, Civarella’s partners in crime and the victims. He lists the charges that the judge was found guilty of and what they comprised. But he spends most of his time on an incident that occurred the day the trial ended.

He notes that the judge was not on trial for the harsh sentences he passed down to the juveniles in his court. He lists the minor offenses that these young people committed and puts forth his outrage at the idea that stealing a “jar of nutmeg” should put a kid in jail.

Conner points out that while the kids he sentenced were in boot camps and juvenile detention centers he partied in Florida on his yacht, enjoying the good life.

Conner identified that the parents of the kids the judge sentenced showed up the day the trial ended and were surprised he was allowed to go free.

Conner recounts that the defense attorney, who he identifies as Flora, was in the process of declaring a victory when he was cut short by a screaming mother.

Conner reported on the courthouse steps incident where Sandy Fonzo, the mother of a 17 year old who committed suicide after being sentenced by the Judge, confronted him. Conner spent nearly half of the editorial (333 words out of 833) on this incident and its ramifications.

Bringing my own prejudices to the case I find it hard to disagree with Conner’s conclusion.

“The lives of many children were ruined by this person. At least his cohorts have been men enough to plead guilty. Do not continue to ruin other lives by confusing future generations about simple values of truth and justice.Send him away. Get him out of our sight.”

Fair and balanced? Decidedly not. Persuasive and to the point? In my opinion, yes.

Conner probably did not really to any actual “Reporting” on this case. I suspect the relied on reports in his newspaper and observations made from TV reports.


Rant D’Jour

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About James Rising

A recovering radio addict wrestles with the written word.
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