News should not have apologized for Posen

Let me see if I have this straight. You have the Posen Potato Festival, a generally benign, sleepy, small-town event where most years the most NEWSworthy event is the naming of the Potato Queen or perhaps a new ride on the midway.

Except this year, when it appears the parade has been overrun by some cell of Trump supporters, floats and all (as well as a motorcyclist sporting a nazi insignia on his clothing). So, The Alpena News runs a NEWS story about the festival, describing the Trumpist takeover of the parade and running a photo of one of the floats. So far, so good.

Then, someone from Posen writes to the paper, complaining that the NEWS article focused on the Trumpist takeover of the parade and not the Potato Queen or other less interesting aspects of the festival (perhaps, the number of vendors offering kielbasa or fresh potato chips).

The Alpena News runs the angry letter on Saturday (“As a descendant of Polish immigrants and a supporter of (true) unity, it was disheartening to see you use this community event, and a community fiercely proud of its strong immigrant heritage, to promote a political figure whose primary message is xenophobia, divisiveness, and racism.”), and, on Monday, the Editor/Publisher of the News runs an editorial apologizing for the paper’s coverage of the parade and suggesting that, in hindsight, the paper probably should not have focused its NEWS story on the one NEWSworthy happening.

You understand, it was a NEWS story, not a feature. If the paper is going to let itself be mau-mau’d from its NEWS coverage by an irate reader, what good is it as a newspaper? (Trick question: the answer, of course, is none).




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