Normally on Sunday, I look past the editorial judgments that I think are mistakes because, well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but not today. There are simply too many.
Burlington: “Police pepper spray mostly Black voting rights marchers in Graham, including children” is the dominant headline at the Times-News online. As it should be. But the front page of the print edition? No mention of the march. Ironically, the front page is filled with a story saying that police are more likely to stop and search Black drivers. A fine story, but also one in which a version was published on the Times-News website 10 days ago. 10. Days. Ago. (I can’t find the actual story that is on the front page today on the website.) This is what happens when you don’t deviate from the plan to deal with a breaking national news story in your own county.
Mooresville & Statesville: The front pages of both papers are dominated by a story headlined “Trump country” with a large photo of two women standing next to a cutout of President Trump. The story is about a pro-Trump parade in Mooreville. “Being a big Trump supporter, I wanted to get the word out here as much as we can, especially with North Carolina being a swing state,” the organizer of the rally said. The papers essentially said: We’ll take care of that for you.
Greensboro: This one is a misdemeanor compared to the above two. The News & Record’s front page is dominated by a story about a $300 milliion school bond issue on the ballot Tuesday. It has helpful information. I know that I — and probably tens of thousands of early and absentee voters — would have found it helpful BEFORE we voted.
Now to the better stories:
Kinston: Alamance County is also the lead in a story in the Kinston Free Press about Asian Americans as an “emergent voting bloc” in the state. “The billboard can be seen by drivers passing through Alamance County along Interstate 40. One moment, it flashes ‘NC Chinese Americans for Biden’, and then, on the same electronic screen, the blue background turns red and the text becomes ‘Chinese Americans for Trump 2020.'”
Charlotte: The Observer tells us which four N.C. counties are bellwethers in the presidential election: Jackson, Hyde, Caswell and Robeson. That’s judging based on how voters there voted in the past three presidential elections.
Raleigh: The N&O sent one of its top reporters around the rural areas of the state to take voters’ temperature. “There is no suspense surrounding how the state’s largest cities and counties, most of which lean heavily Democratic, will vote. Outside of the Triangle and Charlotte, though, and outside of places like Greensboro and Asheville, voters in more rural communities will play an especially important role in the election.” Based on the reporting, Trump is well ahead.
Charlotte: The Observer also has a good story about the need to do more in jails to protect inmates from COVID-19. Some don’t issue masks or require them. Some don’t quarantine new inmates for 14 days. And social distance? Forget it.