Casey mimics editorial board on political speech

We've noted before that the column of the Chronicle's Rick Casey is frequently used to flesh out and develop opinions that are taken by the Chronicle editorial board.

Thus, it was hardly surprising on Friday when Rick Casey devoted an entire column to a political campaigning scenario that then got him to this conclusion:

These corporations are forbidden by law to contribute to [Rick Perry's] political campaign, but they can contribute to "issues" ads.

In practical reality, these ads would be part of Perry's campaign for re-election.

Maybe it's better for our elected officials to pay lobbyists than to be in debt to them.

Recall that the Houston Chronicle editorial board has, several times, come out in favor of legislation being considered in Austin that would ban certain "issues" ads. And note how Rick Casey's Friday column cleverly tied such "issues" ads to Chronicle "bad guy" Rick Perry.

There's a reason Chronicle editor Jeff Cohen wasted no time in getting Rick Casey to Houston. He's reliable, and he's good at what he does. Readers can decide for themselves whether it's good journalism, but Casey is rarely (if ever?) out of step with the editorial board on their issues, and consistently fleshes out that perspective on the "news" pages. It's not subtle to careful readers, but it's effective.

Turning back to the "issues" ads that Casey and the editorial board are attacking, we'd just like to remind Houstonians that this is yet another example of their local newspaper criticizing the political speech of others, while continuing to advocate special privileges for professional journalists.

That, in our view, serves a very special interest (the Chronicle and other "professional" journalism outfits), but not the public interest.

Further, if the Chronicle is as philosophically opposed to "issue" ads as they say, we'll be looking forward to a Cragg Hines/Clay Robison/Rick Casey/James Howard Gibbons denouncement of the "issue-oriented" activities of the Center for American Progress. Philosophical consistency would seem to demand no less from the Chronicle.

So long as there is disclosure of funding sources, we don't mind those ads or other issue ads. Indeed, we tend to think of it quaintly as political speech. Then again, we try to practice some degree of consistency here, and don't merely craft our posts to attack "bad guys" or advance pet causes. Maybe the Chronicle could learn from that example?

Posted by Kevin Whited @ 04/24/05 10:43 AM | Print |

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