Chron announces Gibbons promotion
The Chronicle finally got around today to announcing what blogHOUSTON readers learned on Tuesday -- the "interim" tag has been removed from James Howard Gibbons' job title, as he has been named the editorial page editor:
"Editorial pages are designed to help you pause and think about the current and critical issues of the day," said Chronicle Publisher Jack Sweeney. "James Gibbons has demonstrated his ability to do just that in leading our daily discussion with Chronicle readers."
Chronicle Editor Jeff Cohen said he has asked Gibbons to "discern the community's daily concerns and to lead the discussion with the editorial board as we offer guidance about what is good for the people of Houston."
"We will persuade with reason and without antagonism," Cohen said. "We will be mindful of Texas' diversity. And our focus will not be on who or what is conservative or liberal; our focus will be on what is interesting, important or provocative."
Offer guidance about what is good for the people of Houston?
Spoken like a true liberal mainstream media dinosaur. Seriously, could that be any more condescending?
As for Jack Sweeney's reference to Gibbons' demonstrated ability to lead the daily discussion -- well, we'll just say it's been some discussion! The editorial page under Gibbons has been extremely slow to offer opinions on hot local topics. He's put state Rep. Rick Noriega (D) in Iraq instead of Afghanistan. He's cited a nonexistent treaty. He's gotten so excited about Walter Matthau that he completely blew the numbers on a budget editorial of all things. He's gotten attention from the Wall Street Journal for referring to Afghanistan's president as "Hamid Crazy." He's let way too many serious substantive and copy errors get through. And, of course, there's the now famous editorial from Mr. Gibbons on the ideal state.
Those are just some of our favorites. As they might say in the journalism business, space considerations prevent us from really reflecting on these Chronicle editorial pages in their ideal state! But, we're sure we'll continue to have plenty of opportunities now that Mr. Gibbons' "interim" tag has been removed.
ANNE ADDS: My favorite Chronicle editorial is Hamid Crazy. All those layers of professionally-trained journalists and that whopper makes it into print!
The most stunning example of the Chronicle's mindset is the contrasting editorials on the topic of death: one editorial wondering why an innocent person in an incapacitated state, like Terri Schiavo, would be allowed to live, and another celebrating the end of death sentences for convicted murderers.